The court, or the government, issues a notice to you and your employer that your wages are to be garnished. If you do nothing, or have no defense to the garnishment, beginning with the pay period after the garnishment notice is served your wages will be garnished. Some defenses to a garnishment are your wages are already being garnished by another creditor, your disposable income is from public or medical assistance, food stamps, or SSI, or your disposable income is below the federal poverty line.
Though federal law allows a maximum of 25% to be garnished, Wisconsin law is stricter. In Wisconsin, a creditor is only entitled to garnish the lesser of 20% of your disposable earnings or the difference between your disposable earnings and 30 x the federal minimum wage. However, if the garnishment is for child support or alimony, not only will filing bankruptcy not stop the garnishment, there are different limits for these types of debts and the percentages that can be garnished.
Once a bankruptcy petition is filed, the automatic stay stops a creditor from attempting or continuing further collection activities, which means the garnishment will stop. However, because there may be a delay between when the bankruptcy is filed and your creditor is notified of the filing, be proactive and have your bankruptcy attorney notify the creditor (or its attorney), your payroll department, and the entity that served the notice to your employer, that you have filed bankruptcy. Our attorneys are trained to assist you in quickly stopping your garnishment.
Once stopped, the creditor has to make a request to the bankruptcy court and prove there is a valid reason to restart the garnishment. Thankfully, getting this permission is extremely difficult and rare. However, once your bankruptcy is discharged, or your petition is dismissed, the stay will lift. If it is the former and the debt for which you were garnished is discharged, the creditor no longer can come after you to collect the debt. If it is the latter and your petition was dismissed without a discharge, the creditor can then resume garnishment of your wages to collect what is still owed.
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If your wages have been garnished and you are contemplating bankruptcy, contact The “Milwaukee Bankruptcy Attorneys,” DeLadurantey Law Office. LLC for all your Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy needs. Whether you need debt negotiations or debt relief, or even foreclosure defense, DeLadurantey Law Office will handles bankruptcy matters for the following location – Milwaukee, South Milwaukee, West Milwaukee, Waukesha City, Waukesha Town, Kenosha, Racine, and all other municipalities in Milwaukee County, Waukesha County, Kenosha County, and Racine County. DeLadurantey Law Office, LLC can be contacted by phone at (414) 377-0518.
Designed for attorneys who would like to expand their practice into bankruptcy litigation or are a civil trial lawyer trying to protect the client’s interests when pending suits are thrown into the bankruptcy arena.
Wednesday, September 11, 2013 10-5 est