Garnishment

Garnishment, or even the threat of garnishment, can be embarrassing and can cause serious complications to the rest of your finances.  A garnishment legally and automatically deducts money out of your paycheck or bank account that is owed to a creditor.  Having your employer garnish your wages can be detrimental and change your relationship with that employer. In addition, the attachment of funds in a bank account can leave you unable to pay your regular monthly bills, causing bounced checks and delinquent payment notices.

If you are experiencing the difficulties of a garnishment of your wages, it is not too late.  By being proactive, a garnishment can be prevented entirely.  If a garnishment is already in effect, it can be stopped.  Filing a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy will provide you with the protection you need to stop and/or prevent the garnishment of wages or attachment of property and bank accounts.  The experienced bankruptcy attorneys at the Law Offices of Bergman & Yiangou are here to help you stop garnishment proceedings, allowing you to avoid the many complications associated with a paycheck garnishment, repossession or foreclosure.

What is a garnishment?

Family together.A garnishment is a means of collecting a monetary claim that a creditor has against a debtor.  Once you default on payments to a creditor, they can sue you in court of law.  The creditor will need to file a complaint in civil court detailing the amount owed and reason they are seeking damages.  If the creditor is able to prove to the court the basis for the claim, the court will make a ruling, or judgment, against the debtor and in favor of the creditor in the court proceeding.  Once the court issues a judgment in favor of the creditor, the court can also issue an order of garnishment.  The garnishment order can be in one of two forms: a wage garnishment or an attachment.  In Ohio, a garnishment is an extremely severe punishment because it continues until the debt is completely satisfied.

What is a wage garnishment?

A wage garnishment is the most common form of garnishment.  After a judgment is issued, the court will issue a wage garnishment to a person’s employer.  This wage garnishment is a court order that directs the employer to withhold money directly from the debtor’s salary.  In Ohio, an employer can deduct up to twenty-five percent of wages from your paycheck, the maximum amount permitted by federal law.  A wage garnishment can negatively affect a credit rating and an employee’s relationship with his or her employer.

What is an attachment?

Attachment is another form of garnishment that occurs after a judgment has been issued in a civil case.  Instead of issuing a wage garnishment, the court may allow a creditor to attach a defendant’s money and/or property.  Attachment allows the creditor to seize property held by a debtor.  Attachment most commonly occurs when a debtor’s bank account is “attached” and monies are taken directly from their accounts.  A debtors property can be subject to attachment until the court ordered judgment is deemed satisfied.

Can all wages or income be garnished?

No.  Certain income is exempt from garnishment, including disability, retirement, and Social Security benefits, worker’s compensation and unemployment compensation.

How do I stop a garnishment?

Contact Bergman & Yiangou immediately.  Wage garnishments and attachments can be stopped by filing a Chapter 7 bankruptcy or a Chapter 13 bankruptcy.  The filing of a bankruptcy results in an automatic stay on creditors preventing them from taking any action, including the garnishment of wages.  Once bankruptcy is filed, any garnishment that is pending or already in effect will be stopped and your wages will then return to normal.

If a wage garnishment is pending, call the Law Offices of Bergman & Yiangou for a free consultation.  We will represent you with the expertise and respect you deserve.  Call 614-279-8276 today to stop garnishment and to discuss your legal rights and options.