Stop Your Creditors from Taking Your Paycheck

If you’re losing a cut of your paycheck every week, you’re probably looking into every option on how to stop it. And you may be wondering, does bankruptcy stop wage garnishment? If so, how does it work? And are there any other options?

Here’s what you need to know from our Memphis wage garnishment lawyers at Darrell Castle & Associates. 

How Wage Garnishment Starts

The first thing a lot of people don’t realize about wage garnishment is it’s determined by law. 

If you have debt you can’t pay, creditors may get permission from the courts to garnish your wages up to a certain amount. In Tennessee, it’s usually a maximum of 25%. 

For people who can’t pay their bills, losing 1/4 of your income certainly doesn’t help things. It’s nearly impossible to move on with life in the same way. And at current inflation rates, it can put families in dire circumstances, like losing your car or even home.

So if the law says creditors can garnish your wages, what can you do to stop it?

Options for Stopping Wage Garnishment

Wage garnishment is so costly that most people need it stopped as quickly as possible. However, if you go about it the wrong way, it will waste your time and not even stop the problem in the first place. 

A few things to keep in mind:

Your employers can’t stop it.

Because wage garnishment is determined by law, your employer doesn’t have a say in the matter. They have to take out of your paycheck whatever amount they’re told. They may hate the idea, but it doesn’t give them the ability to fight it on your behalf.

Credit counseling services don’t have legal authority.

You may find groups that will help you put together a budget and payment plan. They may even try calling creditors on your behalf. This can be very helpful. But these groups don’t have any legal authority, so creditors can just say no. 

And even if it seems like the creditors are willing to negotiate, they can always go back on their word. This leaves you right where you started, and now you’ve lost a lot of time and money.

Creditors usually won’t stop it.

Collections agents have one job: to get your money. This is their full-time occupation, and creditors pay them for their success. So they don’t have much of an incentive to work with you. If they know they can get the money from your wages, they’ll usually take it.

Bankruptcy is the only legally binding option.

Because the courts control wage garnishment, the courts have to stop it as well. Bankruptcy is the best and only way to make sure creditors are legally required to stop taking your paycheck.

The Courts and Wage Garnishment

When you sign with a bankruptcy lawyer, our next job is to put together a bankruptcy petition on your behalf. At our firm, we make it a priority to file this petition as quickly as possible, since time is of the essence. We don’t want you losing any more money!

After we file that petition, the court trustee notifies your creditors. This is called issuing a “stay of bankruptcy.” 

From then on, wage garnishment has to end immediately. Creditors can’t call you at your home or threaten you with legal action again. From now on, they need to go through your lawyer. (When this comes up, we handle it at no extra charge.)

All that said, you may still have a small delay. Let’s say the stay begins Thursday afternoon, but your employer ran payroll that morning and wasn’t notified yet. You may still see your wages garnished on that week’s paycheck. 

If we suspect there might be a delay, we’ll actually call your employer ourselves and explain the situation. This sometimes helps to get things moving faster, and it’s one of the reasons so many people in Memphis trust us with their wage garnishment cases. 

darrell_castleEnd Wage Garnishment for Good

If you want to put a permanent stop to wage garnishment, you should speak with an experienced bankruptcy attorney. Our lawyers have helped thousands of people in Memphis get out of debt, and we can help you, too.

We know how much you depend on your paycheck, and we move quickly to stop the garnishment so you don’t lose another dollar.

What’s more, we offer resources to help you after bankruptcy, so you can enjoy a full life and not have to deal with wage garnishment ever again.

To get started, contact us using the form below or give us a call at 901-327-2100. The conversation is free, no strings attached. We look forward to speaking with you!

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