Wage garnishment is a process that permits the lender to legally take a part of your salary to clear the outstanding debts. In case of wage garnishment, people often wonder if they should tackle the problem themselves or take help from an attorney. The best course of action depends on a number of factors.
Here are some important tips to hire an attorney to prevent the issue from escalating.
No Outstanding Debt Remaining
Sometimes, even when you have paid the debt, it still comes back to haunt you. In this case, you should seek help from an attorney. When a creditor files for wage garnishment, either the administrative department or the court will legally oblige the debtor to clear their outstanding dues. However, once the process begins, to prove that you do not owe any debt can become a complex matter. In this case, you can use all the professional help you can get to clear the issue. An attorney understands the process and can help you in putting the paperwork together that you would require for proving that no debts are outstanding. They will also ensure that you meet all the legal requirements to rest the case.
When Handling Yourself is More Expensive than Paying the Attorney
Since the wage garnishment proceedings can be very complicated for an inexperienced person, it often becomes way more expensive to handle the matter yourself than to hire an attorney. In this case, it is better to take help from a professional and ask upfront what their legal fee will be. An honest lawyer will have no problem in answering this question with utmost honesty.
The Creditor is Asking You to Pay Much More
When you receive the garnishment notice, you will also receive a package with all the pertinent information from the responsible administrative agency or the court. These papers reveal exact information about how much the creditor will be paid from your paychecks each month. The creditor can only take up to 25% of your salary, as per federal law, towards the judgment. It is also important to check the state laws as in some states the amount may be lesser. There are also other limitations applicable to wage garnishment that only an expert would know. If you feel that the amount that is being taken from you is wrongful, then you should discuss this with an attorney.
You Want a Settlement
No creditor wants to go through the hassle of wage garnishment. The process is not only time-intensive but also costly. More often than not, your creditor will be more than happy to work out an out-of-court settlement that is reasonable for all parties involved. A voluntary settlement can be reached with the help of a wage garnish attorney who can broker a favorable deal with your creditor.
Risk of Losing your Job
If the garnishment notice is making your employer fire you, then you must seek legal counsel from an attorney immediately. It is illegal for your employer to fire you because of wage garnishment judgment.
The Creditor is Garnishing Your Bank Account to Sidestep Exemption
The law does not permit a creditor to take any more from your salary just because it is credited to your checking account. The court issues forms and detailed paperwork that allows you to define the portion of the account that receives your salary. If you find it difficult to do it yourself, then hire an attorney to do it for you.
Filing for Bankruptcy
If you have mounds of debt that you are unable to handle anymore, then speak with your attorney to discuss bankruptcy option. Bankruptcy may help you sort your finances but it can also cripple your credit score, making it difficult to regain trust in the market. However, by filing for bankruptcy, you can stop the wage garnishment straightaway.
Since wage garnishment varies from state to state, trying to do this on your own can become overwhelming for someone who lacks the experience in wage garnishment issues. Hiring an attorney can take the burden off your shoulders and you can ensure that you are dealing with the matter in the right way. In these situations, it is common for people to seek help from attorneys and this is a good idea. A professional understands the system and can give you expert guidance at every step of the way. However, be careful when hiring an attorney and always perform thorough due diligence of the law firm before signing the contract.