Wage garnishment is an unfortunate consequence that many people face when dealing with overwhelming debt. If you find that the garnishment of your wages is causing further financial strain on your life and you cannot manage your outstanding balances without help, you may find it beneficial to learn how you may be able to make it stop.
If you owe a substantial amount of debt, wage garnishment is only one of the many consequences that creditors may levy against you. From taking money out of your paycheck to moving to repossess your vehicle, debt can quickly affect almost every area of your life. Fortunately, there is a way out through bankruptcy.
What is wage garnishment?
Wage garnishment is the legal process of a creditor moving to have your New Jersey employer withhold a portion of your earned wages, and this amount will go to pay your debts. Not every type of debt is repayable through wage garnishment, but the following types of debt are:
- Back taxes
- Unpaid child support
- Judgments from court cases
- Personal loans
- Student loans
A creditor may not simply request your employer to withhold a portion of your wages just because you are behind on your payments. No matter how overdue you are on your payments, a creditor must schedule a hearing before garnishment can begin.
In this court hearing, the creditor must prove that the debtor is behind on his or her debts and failed to make payments. If the court permits the garnishment, it will then instruct the employer to begin to withhold wages.
Do you know your rights?
Despite the fact that a creditor moved to have your wages garnished, you still have rights. Your employer can only garnish a certain portion of your wages, no matter how much you owe. The amount may not exceed 25 percent of your total disposable earnings.
Also, it is illegal for your employer to fire you because your wages are being garnished. Having debt should not affect your employment status.
Making it stop
Wage garnishment is frustrating, embarrassing and it may feel like you are out of control, but there is a way you can make it stop. If you file for bankruptcy, all collection efforts will stop. This includes wage garnishment, repossession and even harassing phone calls.
Bankruptcy may not be your first choice, but it could be the right one for you and your family. This step can protect you from further consequences levied by creditors and allow you an organized way by which you can discharge or pay off most types of debt.