How to Stop Wage Garnishment

If you are facing a situation where a legal judgment left you with a reduced paycheck because creditors are taking money out before you receive your wages, you may be wondering how to stop wage garnishment. If a large enough portion of your paycheck is going toward the legal judgment, it could leave you unable to afford basic living expenses.

It can feel like you are spiraling down a deep financial hole when your wage garnishment leaves you unable to purchase clothing, food, or other basics of modern life. Perhaps you agreed to a wage garnishment judgment without fully understanding the financial toll this would take on you and your family. Perhaps you thought the garnishment process would go differently than it actually did. Perhaps you did not realize a creditor was suing you, leading to a default judgment against you. Regardless, you may be ready to seek some relief from the financial judgment against you.

Our Wage Garnishment Attorney Understands the Challenging Situation You Are Facing

Consider hiring our Montgomery wage garnishment lawyer to help you find a way out and to figure out how to stop wage garnishment through a bankruptcy filing. Grainger Legal Services is ready to begin working on your behalf as soon as you hire us. Call us today in Montgomery at 334-260-0500. We also offer emergency after-hours appointments, if you find yourself needing immediate help.

When Trying to Figure Out How to Stop Wage Garnishment, We Can Help You File Bankruptcy

With our help, you do have the option of filing for bankruptcy when your creditors are simply taking more of your paycheck than you can afford. The decision to file for bankruptcy can be a great strategy when trying to determine how to stop wage garnishment. Once you choose to file for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy, your creditors must put an end to the order for wage garnishment, as long as we include the wage garnishment as part of the bankruptcy petition.

As soon as the bankruptcy court notifies your creditors about your decision to file for bankruptcy, the creditor then must file a release regarding the garnishment of your wages. Sometimes, though, the creditor may delay the filing of this release, which means the wage garnishment will continue. Our team can file motions that require the court to put a stop to the wage garnishment at the same time it acknowledges your bankruptcy filing, regardless of whether the creditor delays the filing of the release. Often, the court’s ruling on stopping your wage garnishment is all your employer needs to stop the garnishment payments from coming out of your paycheck.

Chapter 13 May Allow You to Pay the Creditors on a More Favorable Schedule

When we help you file for bankruptcy, understand that Chapter 7 works for people who cannot pay back their debts. You will have to show proof that you meet the income thresholds required for Chapter 7.

If you are working and are receiving a regular paycheck, you may need to file Chapter 13 bankruptcy instead. With Chapter 13, you will need to pay back the creditors, but you often can set up the payment plan to run over several years. This may give you a more favorable payment schedule than what you were facing through the original ruling that led to your garnished wages. When you hire us, we can run the numbers to see which type of bankruptcy filing is the better option for dealing with your wage garnishment.

Our Montgomery Wage Garnishment Lawyer Knows How to Try to Stop Wage Garnishment in Alabama Through Bankruptcy

Our wage garnishment attorney has experience with how to stop wage garnishment through the use of a bankruptcy filing. Depending on the circumstances around your individual case, we have a few different bankruptcy techniques we can use. We also have some strategies that worked in the past for other clients. However, we know that we will need to adjust the focus and details of those strategies to fit your particular case. Each case involving wage garnishment and bankruptcy is unique, and our Montgomery wage garnishment lawyer’s approach will reflect that.

We Will Help You Decide if Going Through the Bankruptcy Filing Process With Wage Garnishment Involved Is Your Best Option

Our affordable bankruptcy lawyer knows that filing for bankruptcy can have a negative stigma associated with it that causes some people to dismiss the idea immediately. However, when your financial future is at stake, you should not dismiss any ideas that could potentially help you. When your difficult financial situation leaves you with a greatly reduced paycheck from garnishment, along with sleepless nights and constant worry, filing for bankruptcy can give you some peace of mind and a clear path toward a financial recovery. Grainger Legal Services can help with either Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 filings.

Our wage garnishment attorney in Alabama understands that you may not have an interest in filing for bankruptcy quite yet. You may want to try a few different techniques for reducing the impact of your wage garnishment judgment before exploring bankruptcy. We will provide a few tips here that you may be able to use on your own when trying to reduce your wage garnishment amount. Should you eventually decide that you want to explore filing bankruptcy as a means of reducing the impact of wage garnishment on your financial life, we are ready to consult with you.

Our team will attempt to find the best way to help with your wage garnishment and debt problem through bankruptcy when you hire us to represent you. For a discussion of your case and to learn the different ways we can attempt to help you, call our Montgomery office at 334-260-0500 as soon as possible.

Tips for Attempting to Reduce the Impact of Wage Garnishment Before Filing for Bankruptcy

Try Claiming Exemptions As a Means of How to Stop Wage Garnishment in Your Case

In Alabama, if you have less than $1,000 in take-home pay in your paycheck, you potentially can file for exemptions to protect that amount. The Alabama Court of Civil Appeals ruled in 2020 that residents in the state could protect $1,000 of wages per paycheck from garnishment from creditors.

You may need to file a Motion to Stop Wage Garnishment to make use of this exemption. This form can be confusing to complete on your own, as it requires quite a bit of information, including a listing of your personal property. Sometimes, the creditor who is receiving payments from your wage garnishment may contest your request for exemptions. If so, the court may decide to hold a hearing on the matter.

If Possible, Consider Requesting a Different, Direct Payment Schedule

If creditors achieved a wage garnishment finding against you, you may want to work out a different repayment schedule directly with the creditor. If the creditor agrees to this new schedule, it will then put an end to the garnishment of wages, allowing you to make the repayments on what is hopefully a better schedule for you.

This may be a good option if you did not originally know that the creditor had filed a claim against you. Maybe the garnishment judgment against you was a default judgment, but you would rather work out your own schedule for payments. Your creditor may be willing to agree to this if you can show that it improves your chances of successfully paying back your debt.

You May Be Able to Work Out a Lump Sum Payment

Sometimes when you are in the middle of a wage garnishment situation, you may receive a one-time payment for a side job, or you may receive a gift from a relative. If so, you may decide that you would like to use this money to attempt to settle your debt with the creditor and to put an end to the entire matter, including the garnishing of your wages. You may be able to work out a deal with the creditor through which it will accept a smaller amount than you owe in exchange for the lump sum payment, thereby clearing your debt.

You May Be Able to Reduce Your Payments, Instead of Trying to Stop Wage Garnishment Immediately

If the original judgment against you did not take into account some of the restrictions on garnishing wages, as spelled out in The Federal Wage Garnishment Law, you may be able to seek a new judgment that will reduce your payment to a more reasonable amount that you can fit into your budget. (Alabama follows the federal law and guidelines regarding wage garnishment, according to the state’s Process of Garnishment form.) Some of the restrictions are:

  • Taxes: Garnishment cannot occur with money you need to use to pay for federal, state, or local income taxes.
  • Required deductions: Money from your paycheck that goes to mandated employee retirement programs, Social Security, and other similar state and federal programs is exempt from garnishment.

Errors like this are not common, but they may occur, especially if you have more than one garnishment on your record.

Keeping Your Garnished Wages Below the Thresholds

Depending on the amount of your weekly wages that become subject to the garnishment order, you may be able to seek a reduction based on the math. The Federal Wage Garnishment Law contains some complex formulas for calculating the proper amount of garnishment. It is possible that you are overpaying in garnishment because the original application of the formula was incorrect or because your pay schedule or pay amount at work changed since the time the wage garnishment judgment went into effect.

If you earn $290 or less per week after applying the allowable restrictions, the amount you can pay in garnishment will be significantly reduced. Or if you have an odd pay schedule, it is possible that you are overpaying based on the $290 per week limit.

Our Team Will Help You Learn How to Stop Wage Garnishment Through a Bankruptcy Filing

Ultimately, you may decide that a bankruptcy filing is the best way forward regarding your wage garnishment. We are ready to help with this. We will work to gain a full understanding of your precise situation after you hire us to represent you. We understand that talking about the reasons for the financial hardship that led to your wage garnishment judgment can be difficult. However, to give us the best chance at using bankruptcy when determining how to stop wage garnishment immediately for you, we need you to be completely honest with us about what happened to you financially in the past and what your current financial situation is.

Trust that we will treat you with the compassion and professionalism that you deserve. People who end up in difficult financial situations need us to find a solution and to listen to them, and that’s exactly what we do. We do not judge people on what happened to them in the past. We simply want to learn about your past, so we can help you focus on the future.

Call Our Montgomery Wage Garnishment Lawyer for Help Today

Once we have a complete handle on your situation, we then will be able to begin discussing the best way to use bankruptcy as a tool for how to stop wage garnishment in Alabama for your specific case. We appreciate the trust that you are placing in us, and we do not take our responsibility lightly. For a discussion of your case, contact Grainger Legal Services in Montgomery at 334-260-0500 today. We can meet with you during normal business hours, but we also offer emergency after-hours appointments for our bankruptcy clients.

Attorney Charles Grainger

Attorney Charles Grainger possesses decades of legal experience focused on debtor-creditor law, bankruptcy, and business law. His legal work is designed to help clients overcome debt and secure a stronger financial footing. He also provides legal services to entrepreneurs and business owners. Grainger Legal Services takes a comprehensive approach to debt relief and financial education for clients in south-central Alabama. [ Attorney Bio ]

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