One of the most unpleasant consequences associated with owing a significant amount of debt is wage garnishment. This is a process by which a creditor can move to have your employer withhold a portion of your wages. This means that some of your paycheck will not end up in your pocket -- it will go to pay down certain debts.
Wage garnishment can be embarrassing and unfair, but it is a valid option for many debt collectors. How can you get ahead and regain your financial security when you aren't even able to bring home your full paycheck? Your situation may feel hopeless, but there are specific legal options available to you, including seeking bankruptcy protection.
If you receive notice that the wage garnishment process is about to start, you may wonder what that means for your situation. Creditors cannot simply decide to take part of your paycheck. They must seek an order from the court to move forward with this process. There are specific limits to how much your employer may have to withhold from your paycheck.
The percentage of your paycheck that your employer may garnish depends on several factors, including the following:
- How much you take home on a weekly basis
- The type of debt you owe
- How much your income exceeds the federal minimum wage
Losing part of your paycheck can feel like a major setback, especially when you are already trying your best to pay your bills and catch up. There is good news -- filing bankruptcy will make the wage garnishment process stop.
When you file for bankruptcy, the automatic stay will go into effect. This halts all collection efforts and contact from creditors, including the withholding of a portion of your paycheck. This allows you to follow the steps of your bankruptcy plan without additional pressure from companies trying to secure payment.
Are you eligible?
Not everyone who wants to file for bankruptcy will be able to do so. There are strict eligibility requirements, and you will find it beneficial to learn more about whether or not you qualify. If you are dealing with the garnishment of your wages, it may help to start with an assessment of your case to find out if this is an appropriate way forward for you.
Filing for bankruptcy may not be your first choice, but it could be the best choice. This is an organized way by which you can make garnishment stop, get rid of certain types of debt and finally secure a better financial future for you and your family in Wisconsin.