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What Is Wage Garnishment?

Wage garnishment is a powerful collection tool for creditors as a way to force you to pay them by taking money directly from your paycheck.  With wage garnishment, creditors get a court order to take your wages straight from your employer. The sheriff presents your employer with papers that order him or her to make payment in a certain amount from each paycheck. If your employer disobeys this order, he or she can end up being liable for the payments.

There are federal limits on how much can be taken from your paycheck. Earnings that can’t be garnished include:

  • Social Security benefits
  • Retirement benefits
  • Public assistance benefits
  • Worker’s comp awards (unless the garnishment is for child/spousal support)
  • Unemployment or disability (unless the garnishment is for child/spousal support)

Another protection federal law provides is that you can’t be fired for having a garnishment judgment for one debt only.  However, you can be fired for having more than one.  A garnishment will cease if you file for bankruptcy. A bankruptcy attorney can help you file for bankruptcy. When garnishments cease, it is called the “automatic stay,” which is a federal court order that prevents a creditor from attempting to collect at any time during the bankruptcy case.

Call us toll-free today at 1-800-260-1402 for your complimentary initial bankruptcy consultation or visit one of our 100 offices across the United States. You can also read our many informative articles on our website,  For the best advice on filing for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy protection, trust the experienced and caring attorneys at Jacoby & Meyers Bankruptcy Law.

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