The presence of debts is in itself a rather tricky situation. However, it can be aggravated by such a process as garnishment. It is a legal mechanism that can be applied to persistent non-payers. Read below for more information on wage garnishment in Georgia and ways to avoid it.
Wage Garnishment Definition
The wage garnishment process is when creditors, through the courts, seek to seize part of your wages, which is withdrawn from you to pay off debts. The mechanism will remain in place until the entire debt is paid in this way or until you take action to stop the seizure of your wages. The amount you may be charged depends on the type of debt you owe and state laws. Typically, 25% of income is withdrawn to pay for credit card bills or personal loans; up to 60% can be removed to pay for child support; lenders may require 15% of salary to pay taxes and federal student loans.
Reasons for Wage Garnishment
The reason for starting such a process is the accumulation of debts. By and large, almost any debt, regardless of its type, is the basis for creditors to demand deduction of your wages. According to current statistics, the following liabilities are the most common:
- child support;
- student loan payments;
- court costs;
- consumer debts, etc.
Although any debt may be the basis for withholding some of your earnings, you should be aware that not all financial income can be withdrawn. So in Georgia, the law prohibits the seizure of the following income in certain situations:
- retirement, Social Security disability, TANF, or SSI benefits;
- unemployment compensations;
- student loans or child support you get;
- VA benefits, and so on.
How to Avoid Wage Garnishment
Forcibly taking a portion of your income to pay off debt can significantly impact your ability to provide for your family financially. Quitting your job to prevent garnishment is far from the most effective option. In most cases, the best step is to take preventive measures. For example, if you expect creditors to take your paycheck, it’s worth contacting them directly to discuss your financial situation.
There are also some categories of citizens who have the right to file for an exemption. If you can prove in court that you have some extenuating circumstances (for example, if you support dependent children), the amount of garnishment may be reduced. In some cases, the decision to withdraw may be completely annulled. You also have the option to challenge the garnishment order.
If your financial situation is complicated and you have no extenuating circumstances, you can file for bankruptcy. While your application is being considered, creditors will not be able to apply any methods to you, and after a court decision, you might get rid of part of your debt.
Stop Wage Garnishment With Pros
Whether your lenders have launched the wage garnishment process or you only suspect such a possibility, there is a way out of the situation. Seek help from bankruptcy lawyers to get an expert assessment of your finances and find the best solution to your problem. What do you think is the most effective method for such situations?