How employees in Greenbelt can stop wage garnishments and regain control

Did you know that a Greenbelt bankruptcy attorney can stop any wage garnishment in Maryland by filing a bankruptcy case? No matter who is garnishing you—credit card, car loan, social security administration, etc. The power to stop a garnishment is in your hands. 

When funds are seized by a creditor because you owe him or her money, it is called wage attachment to your job. The problem with a creditor who has an employment attachment on your pay in Greenbelt is that the garnishment may put you significantly behind on all other critical expenditures, which might have serious consequences. Because you can no longer afford your rent, you may be evicted from your home. Because you don’t have enough money to pay for your mortgage, you might face foreclosure. Due to wage garnishment by a judgment creditor, you could lose your car, fall behind on your cellphone/insurance bill, and more.

Unfortunately, many people in Greenbelt, Maryland, and nearby areas understand and know how all this feels, otherwise you would not be reading this blog. A bankruptcy filing will stop a wage garnishment for any debt. You can take control of your wages and protect your income so you can protect your home and life by filing a bankruptcy case. You may also consider filing a motion with the district court to amend the wage garnishment order based on your disposable income, household exemptions and the Maryland state law. Finally, you may be able to negotiate with your judgment creditor, as most creditors simply want to get paid sooner rather than later, and will entertain a repayment plan if it benefits them more than the existing court order.

How the bankruptcy process stops the garnishment process

holding a pencil with an eraser to remove debt

If you live in Greenbelt, call a law firm that is well-versed in bankruptcy and how to stop a wage garnishment. You will feel relief once the calls from creditors cease and your wages are no longer being taken by a court order. When there is a cloud of debt over your head it takes away your living freedoms, and that is why Greenbelt residents should consider a personal bankruptcy filing without hesitation.

Object to the garnishment order using Maryland state law

If after meeting with a bankruptcy lawyer you decide that filing for bankruptcy is not the best option for you, and you act quickly, you may be able to challenge the garnishment in court. Your lawyer can help you determine if you have a legal basis to dispute the judgement, such as:

  • The creditor cannot legally collect on debts discharged in bankruptcy
  • The creditor received a default judgement because you did not defend yourself. You may be able to have that default removed and defend the matter now.
  • Your income may not exceed your household exemption for certain allowable expenses.

Demonstrate your financial hardship

There are several wage garnishment exemptions in Maryland. You also have the right to request a hearing if you believe that the garnishment will cause you or your family financial difficulty. At the court hearing, a magistrate or judge will first look at your basic living expenses including your medical bills, federal student loans, back taxes, requirements to pay child support, and other expenses. The court will also consider your ability to take care of your family, for example, if the wage garnishment will affect your disposable earnings so much that it will require you to get food stamps. You can ask that the garnishment be reduced or even suspended until such time as you are able to make payments and survive.

Negotiating with your creditors to stop a wage garnishment

Going to court is not your only option to stop the collection of a wage attachment. Once the creditor gets their court order, they will not be able to start collecting right away. They will first send you a letter demanding your employer set aside a certain amount of your pay each week and send it to them directly.

The creditor is informing you about the garnishment. Remember that under Maryland state law, this letter must inform debtors of their rights and advise them on how to pay off their debts before it starts, or they will be in violation. If you don’t get one, you may be able to challenge the attachment, but most likely you will receive such a letter. Don’t ignore what’s coming your way – take time out now so there won’t be any unpleasant surprises later down road like increased interest rates (which can really add onto an already heavy burden).

Why quitting your job is not the answer

If you quit your job to stop the garnishment, you potentially risk losing the money in your bank account, as an alternative attachment collection agencies often seek. There are several legal options you have before taking such a drastic measure, and disclosing your information on the internet is not one of them.

Seek Debt Relief Rather than suffering through a wage garnishment

In conclusion, seeking debt relief by filing for bankruptcy in Greenbelt will stop the garnishment from continuing, although you may also want to consider other options if your financial situation changes or if this is a temporary difficulty. They will seize income from your bank account and sell other assets you don’t own before they go ahead and take a chunk out of your paycheck while you’re still employed.

Please contact us at 1-301-494-4250 if you would like to talk with one of our Greenbelt bankruptcy attorneys about your financial difficulties.

Jill Phillips
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