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Wage garnishment can cause significant hardship and make it even more difficult to get back on top financially. If you are currently being subjected to wage garnishment, bankruptcy could be a solution. Here is what you need to know.

When can my wages be garnished?

In most cases, a creditor has to successfully sue you in court before he or she can obtain a wage garnishment against you. When that occurs, your creditor must then notify the sheriff or marshal where you live and provide official paperwork proving the ruling against you. The sheriff or marshal will then contact your employer, who must comply with the ruling. In a few cases, creditors can begin a wage garnishment against you without suing you. Your wages can be garnished without a judgment for student loan payments, taxes, and child support payments.

How will I find out that my wages are going to be garnished?

Generally, you will know a wage garnishment is going to happen either by attending the hearing your creditor has about your debt or by receiving written notification that someone has won a judgment against you. In some cases, you may miss notification of the court date or the ruling and only find out about your wage garnishment when your employer notifies you.

What should I do if my wages are garnished?

Your creditor can continue garnishments until your debt is repaid if you don’t take action. One effective way of handling garnishments is bankruptcy. When you file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you get an automatic stay, which stops all collection activities, including garnishments. If the debt is charged off or otherwise addressed during bankruptcy, the garnishment cannot be restarted, even when the bankruptcy ends.

The road to a financial fresh start begins at Cutler & Associates, Ltd. Our bankruptcy law experts in Aurora and Schaumburg are here to help you make the right choices about your financial future.