Wage garnishment is when a creditor obtains an order requiring your employer withhold pay from your paychecks. Typically, a creditor can garnish about 25 percent of your take-home pay, depending on the type of debt that is owed. Wage garnishments can have a major effect on your personal finances. Thankfully, there are options to stop wage garnishment.

If you have recently had your wages garnished, you may be looking at ways to stop the creditor from garnishing your wages. Filing for bankruptcy is one way to stop wage garnishments. However, this depends both on the type of debt that is the reason for the garnishment as well as the type of bankruptcy filing.

To begin, when someone files for bankruptcy, the court imposes an automatic stay. The automatic stay prohibits all creditors from taking any action to collect a debt from the filer. This includes garnishing wages.

One major consideration to keep in mind is the difference in the two common types of bankruptcies for individuals. Under a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, all garnishments can be stopped, even those for non-dischargeable debts such as spousal support obligations and child support obligations. However, once the bankruptcy is complete, the debts will not be forgiven, and the filer will need to pay them back as part of the Chapter 13 bankruptcy repayment plan.

The benefit in filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy is that most debts can be discharged and, when a person files for bankruptcy, all garnishments based on these debts must cease. There are, however, certain types of debt – such as spousal support and child support obligations – that can neither be discharged through a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Filing for bankruptcy will not stop wage garnishments for these debts.

If your wages are being garnished, and you want help going over your options, contact a bankruptcy lawyer for immediate assistance.

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