One of the most difficult aspects of owing a significant amount of debt is the feeling of hopelessness that comes with falling behind. You may also feel as if you will never catch up, no matter what you try to do. In addition to the stress you are already feeling, you may also find that you are receiving notice of collection efforts from your creditors. This can include different processes, including wage garnishment.
Wage garnishment occurs when a Tennessee employer withholds a portion of your income for the repayment of debt. This is something that can only happen with a court order, and you have certain rights, even if subject to garnishment. It is in your interests to know what these rights are and what you can do to protect your interests if you receive notice of a garnishment of your wages.
What is going to happen?
The first thing that will happen with the wage garnishment process is that you will receive notification. Your employer cannot just decide to garnish your wages upon the request of your creditors. As someone who could face wage garnishment or is already experiencing this, the following facts may be helpful:
- A creditor must seek a court order in order to secure a garnishment of a debt’s wages.
- There are limits to how much of your paycheck to garnish.
- There are types of income that are not subject to wage garnishment, such as Social Security benefits.
- Your employer cannot fire you for having one garnishment, but you will lose this protection after two or more garnishments.
- The garnishment of your wages will continue until you pay the debt or there is another resolution.
If you are not receiving the full amount of the pay you’ve earned, it will be even more difficult to get ahead and pay your bills. It will seem impossible that you could ever get ahead on your debt. However, there are options available to you in the form of bankruptcy.
The bankruptcy protection available to you
By filing for bankruptcy, the automatic stay will go into effect. This will halt all collection efforts against you, including wage garnishment. This will provide you the opportunity to fulfill the requirements of your bankruptcy plan without the harassment of debt collectors. If you are behind on your bills, unsure of how you will repay your debts or facing the threat of wage garnishment, you may benefit from learning more about how bankruptcy could help you reclaim your future.