Stop Wage Garnishment in Memphis
When you can’t afford to pay your bills, you definitely can’t afford to lose 25% of your paycheck. Fortunately, we can help you stop wage garnishment in Memphis and get out of debt once and for all.
Wage garnishment takes as much as a quarter of your income straight from your paycheck to cover your debts. It can include high fees and interest, so you end up paying even more than you actually owe. And some wage garnishments even last for years!
But bankruptcy stops wage garnishment immediately.
In fact, bankruptcy is one of the only ways to stop wage garnishment, because it has the power of federal law behind it.
At our Memphis bankruptcy firm, you can stop wage garnishment with no money down. We offer a program to help you file now and pay later through a repayment plan.
Choosing the Right Memphis Wage Garnishment Lawyer
There are a few things to keep in mind when choosing an attorney to help you stop wage garnishment.
First, you want someone with a great reputation. Wage garnishment is extremely high stakes. If your attorney gets it wrong, you could lose a quarter of your paycheck for no reason at all. You simply can’t afford mistakes like that, and so you want to find someone with a really good reputation.
I will sometimes hear from clients who didn’t do their research and ended up in dire situations because their attorney didn’t communicate well with them or do the bare minimum to get their case filed correctly. Those sorts of mistakes are so costly that you should do everything in your power to avoid them. And so should your attorney.
Our team of lawyers stop wage garnishment in Memphis every single day, and we do it with attention to detail and total respect for our clients. As a result, we’ve built a stellar reputation over more than 30 years. We have some of the top ratings on Google, a 5-star rating on Avvo, and an A+ from the Better Business Bureau. What’s more, we’ve won multiple awards for client satisfaction.
People know us as the bankruptcy law firm in Memphis that treats people with compassion and gets the job done right. You deserve nothing less.
The Process of Filing Bankruptcy to Stop Wage Garnishment
If you need to stop a wage garnishment, the first step will be to come in and see us for a free consultation. At this appointment, will discuss your financial situation, give you an idea of what kind of bankruptcy you might qualify for, and explain what that entails.
If you decide to file for bankruptcy, our attorneys would then put together the paperwork to make it happen. We file that with the courts, and they immediately put an automatic stay on your wage garnishment. This means that by law, all wage garnishments against you have to stop immediately.
The court typically informs your creditors very quickly, but your attorney can also help make sure your employer is aware of the situation so you don’t lose a single additional penny.
After that, you’ll go through the bankruptcy process, whether it’s a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy. Whichever you decide, we’re with you every step of the way and talk with you about what to expect.
In fact, we even help our clients with life after bankruptcy. We noticed a lot of our clients had very understandable questions about what happens when your bankruptcy case is over.
- Will it impact your employment?
- Are you able to get a new house or car?
- And what happens to your credit score?
We’ve compiled the answers into a helpful guide that we offer totally free to our clients called Life After Bankruptcy.
If you have any questions about bankruptcy, we’re happy to answer them throughout the process, free of charge.
Don’t Wait to Stop Wage Garnishment
If you need to stop a wage garnishment, there’s no time to lose.
Every day you wait to talk with someone, you run the risk of having even more of your paycheck taken away. Most people facing wage garnishment can’t afford their basic expenses. And if that’s the case for you, the last thing you need is to lose even more of what you should be taking home.
We offer a free consultation to answer any questions and help you get started with the process. It doesn’t have to be scary or intimidating. We’re here to help, and you’ll know it from the minute you walk into our firm.
If you want to stop a wage garnishment and finally get back the money you work for every single day, we’re here to help. Contact us today online or give us a call at 901-327-2100. We look forward to talking with you.
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Frequently Asked Questions | Wage Garnishment
What is wage garnishment?
Wage garnishment is a legal process through which a creditor can collect a debt directly from your wages. They get a court order or judgment against you, then send a notice to your employer instructing them to withhold a portion of your earnings.
They use the amount they withhold from you every pay period to cover your debt until it’s been paid in full.
Can all types of debts result in wage garnishment?
Certain types of debts are more likely to lead to wage garnishment than others. Some of the most common reasons for wage garnishment include unpaid medical bills, credit card debts, and other outstanding loans. Creditors may also seek wage garnishment for unpaid taxes, child support arrears, and defaulted student loans.
For some other debts, there are different penalties. For example, mortgage debt can lead to the threat of foreclosure. Defaulting on your car payment can lead to repossession.
The specific rules and procedures for wage garnishment sometimes depend on the type of debt and the laws of each state.
How much of my wages can be garnished?
The maximum amount that can be garnished from your wages is governed by federal and state laws.
In most cases, the garnishment amount is limited to a certain percentage of your disposable income. Disposable income is typically defined as the amount left over after deducting mandatory deductions, like taxes and Social Security. It’s usually the amount you’re used to seeing on your paycheck.
The specific percentage that can be garnished varies by state, but it typically ranges from 15% to 25% of disposable income. In my state of Tennessee, it’s 25%.
Can my employer fire me for wage garnishment?
Federal law prohibits employers from firing their employees solely because their wages are being garnished for a single debt.
However, there’s no federal law that prohibits employers from firing employees with multiple wage garnishments. In that situation, it comes down to the laws of individual states. In my state of Tennessee, employers are fairly well protected and can terminate you if you receive multiple garnishment orders.
Can I challenge a wage garnishment?
Yes, you have the right to challenge a wage garnishment under certain circumstances. If you believe the garnishment is in error or the amount being withheld exceeds what is legally allowed, you can request a hearing in court.
In some rare cases, you may be able to file a claim of exemption. A claim of exemption basically says the garnishment would cause undue financial hardship, and you should be allowed to keep more of your earnings.
If you’re concerned your creditors are doing something they’re not supposed to do, take a look at our free report called Creditors Can’t Do That. It will help you understand the rules around creditor behavior and what to do to report illegal debt collection tactics.
Can I negotiate a payment plan with the creditor to avoid wage garnishment?
In some cases, you may be able to negotiate a payment plan with your creditor to avoid wage garnishment. If you know you’re unable to make full payments on the debt, contact your creditor. Explain your financial situation and see if they would be open to an agreement that would make your monthly payments more manageable. You may have to pay them for a longer time, but at a lower rate.
However, keep in mind that this method comes with some risks:
- Not all creditors will be willing to negotiate.
- You may find even with the more manageable payment plan you still can’t cover your debts.
- These agreements usually aren’t protected by law, which means if they go back on the agreement, there’s nothing you can do about it.
If you foresee not being able to cover your debts, contacting your creditor as early as possible might be worth it. But once you’re far enough along that wage garnishment is a real risk or is already happening to you, you should really speak with an attorney to figure out the next best steps.
Will wage garnishment affect my credit score?
Wage garnishment itself doesn’t directly impact your credit score. However, the underlying debt that led to the garnishment, like defaulted loans or unpaid bills, will likely negatively affect your credit rating.
Sometimes people assume that if they can stop the wage garnishment, maybe through some negotiation with the creditor, it will improve their credit score. That’s unfortunately not the case. If you’ve gone into debt and can’t make your payments on it, the only way to rebuild your credit will be to deal with the underlying cause in the first place.
Clients sometimes worry bankruptcy will destroy their credit score, but in reality, the debt is what impacted the credit score to begin with. Dealing with that debt and getting a fresh start will only serve to help you financially in the future.
Are there any types of income exempt from wage garnishment?
Certain types of income and debts are exempt from wage garnishment. Social Security benefits, Supplemental Security Income (SSI), and certain types of public assistance payments are generally protected.
Some state laws may provide additional exemptions. In my state of Tennessee, for example, creditors can only garnish the disposable income left over after you’re paid 30 times the federal minimum wage. This helps protect some of the very poorest debtors from wage garnishment.
Tennessee also offers a small income protection for each dependent child under the age of 16.
Does bankruptcy stop wage garnishment for any type of debt?
Yes, filing for bankruptcy can put a stop to wage garnishment. When you file for bankruptcy, an automatic stay is put in place, which prevents creditors from pursuing any collection efforts, including wage garnishment.
However, not all debts are dischargeable through bankruptcy. Certain obligations – particularly child support or alimony – may not be affected by the automatic stay.
How long does wage garnishment last?
Wage garnishment typically continues until the debt is fully repaid or until the garnishment is lifted through legal means, like a bankruptcy. The amount of time varies based on the type of debt, the amount owed, and state laws.
In my work as a bankruptcy attorney, I’ve seen wage garnishments the last a few weeks and others that last years. It all depends, but one thing is for certain: most people can’t afford wage garnishment when it happens to them.
Contact Our Qualified Memphis Wage Garnishment Lawyers Today
Remember, if you’re facing wage garnishment, you don’t have to suck it up or go it alone. You can talk with an experienced, respected attorney who will answer all of your questions, free of charge.
With our free consultation, you can learn more about your options and make a decision that’s right for you and your family.
“I inquired about having a garnishment stopped. I was promptly contacted by Connie, who was able to answer all my questions and concerns. Awesome customer service and knowledgeable staff. ”