Wage garnishments can occur when Tennessee residents fall behind on certain types of payments to their creditors. In particular, payments that are ordered by courts and those that are mandated by the government, such as taxes, can be repaid through garnishments. Though there are laws regarding how much of a person's income may be taken through wage garnishment for the purposes of repaying these obligations, Chapter 7 bankruptcy offers some individuals a way to halt wage garnishment actions before they even commence.
The filing of a Chapter 7 bankruptcy action initiates an automatic stay over the debts and obligations of the filer. An automatic stay stops any actions creditors have or could start against a debtor for the recovery of their money. Wage garnishments cannot be commenced during the period from which a Chapter 7 action is filed to when the case ends.
If a debtor's Chapter 7 action fails, he should be prepared to see his creditors take action against him to collect on the debts. Government entities like the IRS and those that back student loans can use wage garnishments to seek repayment. Courts can also approve wage garnishments when individuals fall behind on their child support obligations.
A wage garnishment takes money directly out of a person's paycheck and can significantly reduce his income. Though it is used to pay off debts on which he owes, an individual struggling with debt may find it even more difficult to climb out of trouble if his paycheck is being reduced each week. Chapter 7 bankruptcy may offer relief to some who are facing possible wage garnishment actions, though those who wish to pursue such personal bankruptcy actions should first consider speaking with legal professionals about their particular situations.