The Real Facts About Wage Garnishment in Memphis
Many of us are hiding behind a secret: wage garnishment in Memphis is a huge problem.
At our Memphis bankruptcy firm, we’ve learned from experience that a lot of people are afraid to talk about their debt. It can be a shameful subject, and folks worry about the stigma.
But when we don’t talk about it, we miss out on understanding the problem and how to fix it.
If you’re facing wage garnishment, you aren’t alone – not even close. In fact, the numbers are higher than you may realize. And you have options to put an end to it for good.
How Many People’s Wages Are Being Garnished?
According to a recent study out of Northwestern, the public vastly under-estimates the number of people facing wage garnishment.
We likely don’t realize how many people in our lives might be facing wage garnishment. In reality, 1 in 100 people have their wages garnished at a given time. Many thousands of people in the Memphis area are losing part of their paycheck right now.
So if you think you’re alone, think again. That means multiple people in every church, and multiple people at every grocery store. Parents of children in every grade at school, and someone else in the DMV line.
In general, the study showed, wage garnishment lasts an average of 5-7 months. And as some people’s garnishments end, either by repayment or bankruptcy, new ones replace them.
Common Reasons for Wage Garnishment in Memphis
Wage garnishment is a huge challenge for anyone dealing with financial problems. In our state of Tennessee, the courts can order that you lose up to 25% of your salary at a time.
The reasons vary, but some of the most common include:
- Tax Debt: Failure to pay federal or state taxes can lead to wage garnishment. The government often relies on wage garnishment, even more than other creditors.
- Unpaid Child Support: Non-payment of court-ordered child support can also result in wage garnishment. This ensures the financial support of dependent children, but it can also keep debtors from paying other important bills, like utilities or groceries.
- Defaulted Student Loans: If you go into default on federal student loans, you could face wage garnishment.
And then finally, there’s the issue we see most commonly at our Memphis bankruptcy firm: unsettled consumer debts.
If you can’t repay consumer debts, like credit card balances or medical bills, creditors can ask for wage garnishment through the courts. If they get a court judgment against you, your employer has to comply by garnishing your wages.
Most people deep in debt simply can’t afford to lose 25% of their paycheck every week. If that’s you, here’s what you can do to stop wage garnishment for good.
What You Can Do About Wage Garnishment
While wage garnishment in Memphis is a huge, hidden problem, the solution is much clearer:
Bankruptcy can provide much-needed relief and is the only court-approved way to stop wage garnishment completely.
Filing for bankruptcy triggers an automatic stay, which immediately ends your ongoing wage garnishments. And while there are some exceptions (like for child support), it can also help you restructure your other debts so you can better afford your monthly expenses.
Bankruptcy offers a fresh start and a path towards financial stability – and our award-winning bankruptcy team can help.
Remember, there’s no shame in wage garnishment, and there’s no need to accept it as your only option. Our compassionate team can help you face wage garnishment and put a stop to it once and for all.