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Can You Stop Wage Garnishment By Filing Personal Bankruptcy?

By Dan Rose
Updated on May 27, 2024
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If you’ve found yourself in a situation where your wages are being, or about to be, garnished, you may be wondering if filing for bankruptcy is a reasonable option for managing your current financial distress.

I was in the same position a few years ago … the first thing I did was contact a lawyer to make sure any advice I got was solid and not simply opinions or anecdotal assurances.

Legal consultations are (almost always) free and absolutely essential in order to feel confident as you proceed and ensure you get the best results for your specific situation.  The following is an encapsulation of the main points you need to know … I hope you find them helpful.

Firstly, as you are probably already aware, any creditor with a judgment against you can garnish your wages. NY state law allow for up to 25% wages to be garnished in any pay period.  However, your wages cannot be garnished for more than an accumulated 10% for the year.  To understand how this works you will need to discuss all the details with a lawyer.

My advice is to try to stay calm and approach the situation with a clear head.  This isn’t easy, to be sure, but it can be done.  Remember, this too shall pass . . . .

The great news is that immediately upon filing a personal bankruptcy petition the automatic stay (stopping the garnishment) goes into effect.  This should give you plenty of relief, both financially and emotionally.

The days of rock-solid financial stability are long gone (if ever there was such a thing) and our need for adaptability is essential.  So … hang in there, you are going to get through this.

Now, allow me to emphasize something.  It is a violation of the Bankruptcy Code for a creditor to continue with a wage garnishment once a bankruptcy case has been filed. You can rest assured that the garnishment cannot be continued.

Furthermore, wage garnishment can usually be stopped within a day of two of bankruptcy filing. Someone who is paid every two weeks, depending on when the bankruptcy case is filed, will most likely (but not always) be stopped before your next pay period.

Nota Bene:  There are exceptions for certain types of debts, such as child support, so be sure to ask your lawyer to clarify any exceptions before you proceed.

Whether or not filing for bankruptcy is a good idea for you personally is not something I can address.  But, as I’ve mentioned, a competent bankruptcy lawyer will be able to assess your personal situation and give you the necessary information and tools to proceed towards the best outcome.

Here’s to better financial days ahead  . . . .

 


If you are concerned about your credit report after filing for chapter 7 bankruptcy or seek to file bankruptcy for the first time please contact one of our NYC bankruptcy lawyers now by filling out the adjacent contact form.

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