Should You File For Bankruptcy To Stop Wage Garnishment?

Wage garnishment occurs when a creditor attends a court hearing in order to obtain a judgement against you. This judgement also gives them the right to force your employer to withhold a percentage of your salary to pay the debt that you owe. If you have received an order for wage garnishment, then you may be considering filing for bankruptcy to stop it, but is it a good idea? Here are some questions to ask yourself before making a final decision:     

What is the amount of the debt?

If the amount of your debt if low, such as around $500 - $1,000, then filing for bankruptcy might be a waste of time. Although having a percentage of your wages garnished can be stressful, if you can afford to pay a bankruptcy attorney, then you might want to simply pay off the debt instead. There is always the option of requesting that the filing fee be waived and choosing to represent yourself in the bankruptcy case, however, with so many new and complicated bankruptcy laws, you could make a mistake that could cause your case to go in the wrong direction.

Do you have other debt?

If you have a great deal of additional debt, then filing for bankruptcy might be the best option because you could stop the current garnishment, but other creditors might try garnishing your wages in the future. Bankruptcy can wipe out a majority of your debt and give you a fresh start. However, if you only have one or two outstanding bills but your credit report is otherwise blemish-free, then you may want to find another solution to your wage garnishment issue.

How much of your salary is being garnished?

While some states don't allow wage garnishment at all, other states regulate the percentage that can be garnished. In some cases, up to 25% of your disposable income could be garnished. If a large percentage is being garnished from your paycheck and you're unable to buy food or pay rent and utilities, then bankruptcy might be a viable option. It's a good idea to consult with a bankruptcy attorney before making a final decision. 

Wage garnishment can often lead to hardship and severe stress, especially in a person who is already struggling financially. However, there are ways to stop your wages from being garnished, and in some cases filing for bankruptcy is the best solution. In other situations, bankruptcy could cause more harm in the long-run, as it could lower your credit score significantly. In such a case, you might want to contact the creditor and attempt to work out an affordable payment plan. For further assistance, contact professionals, such as those from Horizon Tax Relief.