What is Wage Garnishment?
Wage garnishment is a process where the court orders an employer to withhold a part or entire salary of an individual (employee) so it can be used to repay his/her creditors. Also known as wage levy, it is considered one of the harshest tools used by the IRS for debt collection as it takes a significant amount out of every pay you receive.
Wage garnishment can happen if you owe a certain sum in credit card debts and medical bills. In these situations, your creditors usually cannot garnish your wages without getting permission from court. But filing a suit isn’t required when garnishing wages to collect debt in taxes, child support, federal student loans, and alimony. This will continue until your debts are fully paid or you’re able to find a way to stop wage garnishment.
How does the wage garnishment process work?
During the wage garnishment process, one of your creditors will reach out to your employer telling them to deduct a certain amount from your salary during each pay period to repay what is owed to them. If the creditor is able to show proof of the court’s approval, your employer will have no choice but to comply.
In some instances, creditors can secure a judgment that allows them to not only garnish your salary, but also your commissions and other extra income. When this happens, there’s almost nothing you can do unless you get help from a Louisiana wage garnishment attorney!
Are there limits to wage garnishment?
Though some states can impose stricter limits, federal law has put limitations on the total amounts allowed for wage garnishment in Louisiana. Any good Louisiana attorney will tell you that wage garnishment should NOT surpass the lesser of 25 percent of your disposable earnings (wages left after the employer deducted the amount mandated by law) for a week or the total amount by which your disposable weekly income exceeds 30 times the federal hourly minimum wage.
Additionally, there are wage garnishment limits for unpaid taxes, child support, and federal student loans. Seek immediate assistance from a Louisiana wage garnishment attorney today!
What is the best way to stop wage garnishment?
In most cases, filing for Bankruptcy works best since an automatic stay is implemented – stopping wage garnishment and other debt collecting acts like property seizures. Louisiana’s exemption laws can also determine how much of your wages you can keep.
Not only does filing for Bankruptcy help you stop wage garnishment and achieve debt relief, but it can also offer protection from abusive collection practices and allow you to recoup wages that were previously garnished.
The two most common Bankruptcy chapters for debt relief are Chapter 13 and Chapter 7. Chapter 13 bankruptcy allows you to develop a payment plan while restructuring your debts so you can repay everything within three to five years while Chapter 7 Bankruptcy involves the liquidation of some or most of your assets which are not exempt from being seized.
If you think that filing for Bankruptcy can stop wage garnishment, then get in touch with an E. Orum Young Law Bankruptcy specialist today!
Besides filing for Bankruptcy, what are other ways to stop wage garnishment?
Apart from a Bankruptcy petition, there are actually more ways to stop wage garnishment in Louisiana that you can explore. Here are a few of them:
- File an appeal to the Regional IRS office so they can possibly review and make changes to the initial decision
- Apply to obtain a Currently Not Collectible status if the wage garnishment is making your financial situation worse
- Seek an Innocent Spouse status if you are married but are the only one who has unpaid taxes
- Leave the company you work for as this will immediately stop wage garnishment and force your creditors to go through the entire garnishment process before they can be entitled to your wages again.
However, some options mentioned may not be viable based on your circumstances. These may also only be short-term fixes so filing for Bankruptcy could be your best choice. To get started, speak with a skilled Louisiana attorney or bankruptcy professional right away!
Call our Louisiana wage garnishment attorney Now!
For over 35 years, our Bankruptcy attorneys at E. Orum Young Law has handled countless bankruptcy cases and helped numerous people in Louisiana get over their financial difficulties. We strongly believe that each case we win means a brighter tomorrow for individuals and families all over the state. We also offer legal services in other areas of practice.
Looking to stop wage garnishment and a fresh start? A free case review is waiting for you once you give us a call!