Wage Garnishment Lawyer in Queens
Is a lender or debt collector taking payments directly out of your paycheck? This is called wage garnishment, an enormously frustrating type of debt collection. You deserve to have full control over the money you earn, and wage garnishment can interfere with your ability to pay other bills and support your family.
While wage garnishment is perfectly legal, you have several methods of defense at your disposal. With the Law Office of Seni Popat on your side, you our bankruptcy lawyer in Queens can give you the highest possible likelihood of ending wage garnishment and obtaining relief from crushing debt. After determining which defense strategy will be most effective in your situation, we can help you advocate for your rights and regain full control over your hard-earned income.
How Does Wage Garnishment Work?
Once you miss payments on your mortgage, vehicle loan, medical bills, or other forms of debt, your lender or creditor will begin to contact you regularly or simply sell your debt to a collection agency. If, at that point, you still do not provide the money they’ve requested, either the original creditor or the debt collector may take you to court.
If a creditor or agency takes you to court, they may obtain a judgment against you that allows them to garnish your wages or even freeze your bank account. Once this occurs, the creditor or agency is entitled to a portion of every paycheck until the debt has been paid in full.
Certain types of debt, however, do not require a lawsuit to take place before wage garnishment. If you owe taxes, for example, the federal government can resort to any type of collection tactic without taking you to court first.
How to Prevent Wage Garnishment
If you are struggling with debt, you can take several steps to prevent or simply delay wage garnishment, including:
- Requesting debt validation (i.e. asking a creditor to prove that you owe the debt)
- Negotiating with creditors (e.g. setting up a payment plan, lowering the principal or interest rate, extending the terms, etc.)
- Taking collectors to court for creditor harassment (potentially obtaining compensation, which can cover what you owe)
- Filing bankruptcy (which triggers an automatic stay, prohibiting creditors from attempting to collect debt)
- Defending yourself in court (which prevents the collector from obtaining a judgment by default)
How to End Wage Garnishment
If a creditor or debt collector has already obtained a judgment against you and begun to garnish your wages, you may have the following options:
- Negotiating a payment plan or settlement. You are less likely to succeed with this strategy once the creditor or agency has already obtained a judgment against you, but it is still possible.
- Contesting the garnishment. You will need to prove that the garnishment causes “undue harm” or was based on false information. Depending on your state, you may have a very limited time frame to contest a garnishment order.
- Filing bankruptcy. Bankruptcy prevents creditors from both initiating and continuing collection actions. If you file, the automatic stay will halt the wage garnishment process, giving you access to your income while you proceed with the case.
Take Action Today to Protect Your Income Tomorrow
If you are suffering from this drastic form of debt collection, you aren’t alone. Wage garnishment is more common than many would believe. In fact, roughly 4 million U.S. employees had their wages garnished in 2013. At the Law Office of Seni Popat, our bankruptcy attorney in Queens is committed to helping individuals and families overcome this type of financial crisis. Whether we guide you through the bankruptcy process or employ another defense against wage garnishment, you can trust us to work tirelessly on your behalf.
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