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Stop Wage Garnishment

Each state has its own debt collection laws with respect to how much and when your paycheck or your bank account can be garnished. The federal law, however, has set minimum guidelines that state debt collection laws cannot infringe upon. Essentially, you can be garnished up to 25% of your take-home pay.

However, a consumer need not sit back and suffer through garnishment without exercising their rights. With the exception of a federally funded student loan and an agreed-upon wage assignment that was not later revoked, no company can garnish wages without first having a judgment. A judgment is a finding as a matter of law that a certain debt is owed. There is no more legal challenge to the debt. However, before there can be a judgment, a lawsuit must first be filed and properly served. Even after a lawsuit is filed, the consumer has every right to defend the lawsuit. With the proper help and preparation, a judgment can be avoided.

It has often been reported that the collectors that file these lawsuits are not always prepared to take a case all the way to trial and prove their case. The lawsuit is designed to put the consumer at a disadvantage enough so that they will either ignore the lawsuit and allow the judgment or unwittingly agree to have one entered. A properly armed consumer can utilize the lawsuit to his or her advantage and either defeat the lawsuit or use it as an opportunity to negotiate a fair settlement.

Once that judgment is entered, however, the collector has a right to seek out assets to pay the judgment as long as it remains unpaid. Those assets can include your yet-to-be-paid wages, money saved in a bank account, tax refunds, or other valuable personal property.

Wage Garnishment Laws

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