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What should you know about wage garnishment?

You work hard to earn a living, so when you learn that you are being subjected to wage garnishment, it can be devastating. Wage garnishment is one of the more unfortunate consequences of overwhelming debt, and it can have a detrimental impact on the financial health of your Wisconsin family.

When your debt problem has reached the point where you no longer receive the full portion of your wages, where you are getting phone calls from debt collectors at all hours and where you have no hope of catching up on your own, you have options. You have the right to seek relief from the impact of your debt, including wage garnishment, by filing for bankruptcy.

How does garnishment work?

You earned your wages, yet unpaid debt could lead to the legal process known as wage garnishment. This process is a legal way by which creditors could recoup some of the losses associated with any of the following types of debt:

  • Back taxes
  • Student loans
  • Court judgments
  • Personal loans
  • Child support

While wage garnishment certainly may feel like a violation of your personal rights, the creditor has the right to enact this process by following certain steps. It may come as relief to you to know that a creditor cannot simply decide to have your employer keep a portion of your paycheck. The first step that the creditor must take is to schedule a hearing in court.

The creditor must be able to prove that you owe the debt and that you did not make payments. If the creditor can prove these things, the court may then issue an order to have a portion of the debtor's wages withheld. This process can continue until you meet all debt obligations or you file for bankruptcy, which will halt all garnishment of wages.

The benefits of bankruptcy 

Wage garnishment is frustrating and can threaten the stability of your family. However, by filing for bankruptcy, you have the power to make it stop. Taking this step will enact the automatic stay, which halts all creditor contact and collections efforts against you.

Bankruptcy is an effective way to deal with many types of consumer debt, but you would be wise to seek an understanding of how this can benefit you specifically. A complete evaluation of your case can reveal what options are best for you and how you can use bankruptcy to deal with your debt once and for all.

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