According to the administration and wall street, the economy may be on the road to recovery, and truth is that bankruptcy filings and foreclosure numbers are down. I am Alberto H. Hernandez, a Miami bankruptcy lawyer, who specializes in Chapter 7 Bankruptcy, Chapter 13 Bankruptcy, Foreclosure Defense, Residential Loan Modifications, and Debt Collection Defense. Something many people don’t know about is that we are truly a full-service debt relief law firm. This includes fighting for those dealing with a wage of bank garnishments.
Many of our clients and individuals throughout our nation are having to deal with wage garnishments. This is a legal order, which allows a plaintiff to collect 25% (the legal limit) of your net income, per paycheck, until a debt is paid. The amount jumps to 50-60% when collecting child support debt. Some plaintiffs will also enforce their right to garnish the full amounts from your bank account, although both processes will not be done at the same time. A garnishment comes as a surprise to most, as the legal paperwork is usually sent to the employer and/or bank before the individual is even notified.
Once you are notified that your wages are being garnished, there are certain legal procedures you can utilize to stop the plaintiff from continuing to collect. The first option is filing for bankruptcy. Due to the automatic stay, a creditor cannot legally collect from you while your case is filed. Documentation of your bankruptcy case is sent to the courts and creditor’s attorney to stop the garnishment and when you receive your discharge, they cannot collect from you again. This does not apply to a debt owed to government entities, such as the IRS or debt owed for Child Support.
If you are not able to file for bankruptcy at the time your garnishment is initiated, you may also file for a claim of exemptions with the court. The court will hear a claim of exemptions pleading shortly after filing. A judge and/or the attorney for the creditor will also review any documents supporting your claim. This may include bank statements, income tax returns, and paychecks. If the claim of exemptions is granted, your garnishment will stop. However, it is important to keep in mind that this does not make the debt disappear nor does it stop the plaintiff from filing for another garnishment attempt in the future.
Our office can represent you as a stop garnishment bankruptcy attorney or as a garnishment defense attorney only. For more information on your legal options, please contact our office at (305) 820-0334 for a free consultation at one of our offices located in Miami- Dade and Broward County.