If you’re struggling with debt and know that a creditor is taking you to court, it’s important to note that wage garnishment could be their next step. With wage garnishment, the creditor goes to court and asks the judge to approve garnishment from your normal salary or wages.
To do this, they will need to talk to your employer. Your employer will then have to allow money to be taken out of your paycheck directly based on the specific order.
Of course, you are right to worry that this could cause some friction at work. After all, it may not reflect well on you, and you may be upset that your employer now knows about your financial struggles.
If you’re worried that you could be fired over this, don’t be. The U.S. Department of Labor states directly that it is not legal for your employer to fire you due to wage garnishment.
Is there anything you can do to prevent wage garnishment?
Yes, there are a few things you can do to stop wage garnishment.
When you know that you can’t afford to pay back a debt, the first step is to call your creditor. You may be able to work out a solution with them that allows you to pay back what you owe over a greater period of time or through other means. Sometimes, creditors will forgive fees or penalties to help get you back on track.
It’s also possible to challenge the judgment against you. If the garnishment is erroneous, then you should take the case back to court and explain that you don’t owe the money. Usually, you have only a short time to do this, so you should respond as soon as you receive a wage garnishment letter.
Finally, if the garnishment is in place and is causing you problems, you may want to consider bankruptcy as another option. If your debts are overwhelming and you are struggling with the wage garnishment in place, turning to bankruptcy can help. A bankruptcy stops wage garnishment right away, so you can work with others to assess your financial situation and work through a bankruptcy to resolve past-due debts.