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What is wage garnishment and what are my legal defenses?

When a person sinks into debt, the stress of maintaining the lifestyle they have become accustomed to while simultaneously meeting their financial obligations can be overwhelming. Debt collectors can be relentless in making a difficult situation worse and it is easy to feel like you are in a hopeless situation.

The knowledge of an experienced bankruptcy attorney can be very helpful in assessing options presented to you by your creditors. Bankruptcy lawyers can help improve your position by explaining options that you may not have known about or were unsure if they could be applied to your situation.

Wage garnishment is a possible technique that can be used by debtors as part of a plan to work out of debt while avoiding a drastic change in your life so you can maintain some of what you have worked so hard to achieve.

Wage garnishment is a legal process where a percentage of the debtor's earnings are held back by the debtor's employer and paid directly to the creditor in an effort to repay the debt. 

Many debtor employees are wary of entering into a wage garnishment arrangement because it can seem invasive. The debtor has earned this money and so the feeling by many is they have a right to choose how to spend it. There is also often a fear that the employer’s knowledge of financial difficulties could affect continued employment.

It is a feeling of losing control that may steer some debtors away from this option, but having a knowledgeable bankruptcy attorney representing you when the wage garnishment agreement is being discussed can ensure your sense of control is not lost and inform you of your rights if your employer tries to use the garnishment order against you.

A bankruptcy attorney can help arrange the most lenient terms and set out a timeline so you are confident and comfortable with the procedure and can start looking forward to life after your debt is satisfied.

Source: Findlaw.com, "Wage Garnishment," Accessed Nov. 12, 2014

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