Delinquent payments on child support, student loans, alimony, credit cards and income taxes may prompt creditors to request the courts have your wages garnished. When a wage garnishment is issued, employers are presented with a copy of the court order, and the money is taken from your check. There are several ways to avoid wage garnishment so you can retain your hard-earned wages.
Pay your debts. Wage garnishment proceedings can be stopped by paying them in full. This will also permanently stop collection activity. Consider liquidating assets or debt consolidation to stop wage garnishment.
Propose an installment or payment plan. Most creditors will stop garnishment proceedings if you set up a repayment agreement. They will most likely ask for an initial payment to start the installment plan. Typically, most creditors would rather arrange payment plans than go to court.
Visit the court and file a Claim of Exemption. This petition asks a judge to consider your wage garnishment based on your difficulty to pay basic living expenses. A judge will ask you to provide evidence of your monthly bills. Court acceptance of your claim will stop wage garnishment or lower the amount.
File for bankruptcy to stop all creditor actions, including wage garnishments. Before proceeding, however, make sure that bankruptcy is the step you want to take. A bankruptcy will be on your credit report for up to 10 years and could make it difficult to apply for a home or automobile loan.
Based in Dallas, Kelly Taylor has been writing freelance articles since 2000. Her articles have appeared in "Town Talk" magazine, "Advocate" newspaper, and "Stash Magazine." She holds a Master of Arts in English from Louisiana State University.