DEBT RELIEF LAW CENTER
Attorney N. James Turner Can Help
Stop The Harassment!
A wage garnishment is shocking because it always comes without notice. If your wages have been garnished, this means that you have a judgment against you. A wage garnishment is a legal tool that creditors use to try to get your money. And, it makes your employer the debt collector a portion of your paycheck.
How much can they take from my paycheck?
In Florida the first $217.50 of weekly disposable earnings is automatically protected from wage garnishment by the federal Consumer Credit Protection Act. A consumer's "disposable earnings" are gross pay minus mandatory payroll deductions such as taxes. If you earn more than $217.50 per week, the creditor can take the lesser of: (A) 25% of your disposable weekly earnings or (B) your disposable weekly earnings above $217.50.
Solution 1 - Settle the debt.
You may be able to work out a favorable deal with the creditor to settle your debt. Settling the debt stops the wage garnishments will stop. Usually the creditor will demand payment of a lump sum to pay off a portion of the debt.
Solution 2 - Claim Head of Family wage exemption.
A consumer/debtor can prevent their wages from being garnished by claiming the "head of family wage exemption"" if they provide more than one-half of the support for a dependent. A spouse, children, or other close family members that the consumer cares for qualify as dependents.
Only "wages" or "salary" paid to an employee for labor or services can be claimed as exempt. So, if the consumer/debtor is self-employed or owns a business and controls how much money they are paid, the "head of family" exemption cannot be claimed.
Solution 3 - File for Bankruptcy
The fastest way to stop your wage garnishment is by filing for bankruptcy. If you file for bankruptcy, your wage garnishment must IMMEDIATELY stop due to the bankruptcy "automatic stay". The automatic stay is a legal protection that stops almost all collection activity against you the moment that you file your bankruptcy case. As soon as your bankruptcy case is filed, a diligent bankruptcy lawyer will notify your debt collector that you are protected by the bankruptcy automatic stay and demand that your wage garnishments must immediately stop. The debt collector will also receive notice of your bankruptcy from the court.
Call us for a free consultation.