Articles Posted in Garnishment

Yes! You can get back money that was garnished from your wages (if the debt is dischargeable) if you file bankruptcy.  In Mississippi, you can only recover garnished wages were taken within 90 days of your filing for bankruptcy and the amount taken was more than $600.  You are not entitled to recover everything that’s been garnished if you’ve been garnished more than 90 days before you file bankruptcy; just the 90 day portion they took right before you filed bankruptcy.  ***Keep in mind that filing bankruptcy STOPS a garnishment the moment the case is filed!

Depending on which kind of bankruptcy case you file and the amount, the money may go back to you or it may go to the Trustee.  But either way, it’s beneficial to you.  How would it be beneficial for it to go to the Trustee? Keep reading. I’ll explain!

Example #1: You have been garnished for the past 2 months for a total of $800 and you file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy tomorrow.  The first two criteria are met (within 90 days and over $600) so you stand to regain all $800.

Example #2: You have been getting garnished for 6 months for a total of $1,500 and you file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy tomorrow.  You’re qualifying but only the portion taken within 90 days will be eligible – which lets say totals $700.  The creditor is entitled to keep the other portion ($800).

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If you are being sued by a creditor and you don’t show up for court, the debt collector wins, right or wrong – they win and get a judgment against you. With a judgment the debt collector has the power to garnish your wages or seize your bank account, or any bank account with your name on it.

Don not ignore a summons or copy of a lawsuit if you are served with one. Contact a lawyer early on to find out what your options are. Knowing what steps to take and having the information to decide what is best for you is the most important thing to know. Dealing with any legal action can be overwhelming. It is crucial to speak with a lawyer regarding the options that exist for you.

A garnishment is an order from a court that is sent to your employer requiring them to withhold certain amount of money from your paycheck. This money is then sent to the creditor. Mississippi law limits the amount of money that your creditors can take from your wages to 25%. Most creditors are limited to the 25%, but some creditors like the IRS, State Taxes and Child Support are allowed to get more.

What Is The Process For Getting A Garnishment?

1. A creditor must file a lawsuit against you and serve you with a summons telling you to come to court.

Over and over I meet people who owe money to their bank but want to leave them out of a bankruptcy. They say “I have been with that bank for years.” Then they tell me what good friends they are with the bank and how the bank is like one of their family. Banks spend millions in advertising to make you believe this. The reality is your bank sees you as a piece of business. They don’t care if you made every payment on time and paid off numerous loans in the past. This is a business relationship and they will drop you like a hot potato if you appear to be a credit risk. You don’t believe me? Ask the bank for credit when times are bad for you. Your bank acts like your best friend when times are good for you but they won’t be there when you really need them. It’s just business to them and nothing more. No one wants to file bankruptcy. But when it is necessary it should be a business decision for you and nothing more. Bankruptcy is just a financial tool. Phony personal relationships should not get in the way of your financial recovery.

In order for a creditor to garnish your wages, they must first file a lawsuit regarding the debt in question and receive a court judgment in their favor (win the lawsuit).  Once this occurs, they will receive an order of garnishment also referred to as a writ of garnishment.  This order is sent to your employer who must hold this writ of garnishment for 30 days.  The reason a 30 day hold requirement was placed into the process is to allow time for the employer and the employee to verify that the order is for the correct person, etc.  The problem is that employers are not required to notify you that they have received an order of garnishment.  They may simply hold it and you will find out 30 days later when your first check is garnished.

It’s important to note that a garnishment is applicable to any money in possession of a third party (ie: your employer, your bank, etc).  It’s not limited to only what you earn.  Wage garnishment is simply the most common form of garnishment.

Garnishment is an option for a creditor for any type of debt that results in a judgment in favor of the creditor.  Lawsuits for breach of contract or to collect debts owed for cars, medical expenses, promissory notes, etc are all applicable.  Even debts relating to taxes and domestic support obligations (child support or alimony) can lead to garnishment.