Debt collectors have many ways to collect debts; one of them is wage garnishment. It is also called wage attachment, which is an order from the court that requires your employer to withdraw a certain amount of money from your wage and send it directly to the creditor. If the debt collector has a court judgment, they can garnish your bank account. You can contact the Chicago debt collection defense attorney if you are in such a situation.
Can a debt collector garnish my wages?
If you are in debt, such as a credit card, the actual creditor will sell the debt to a debt buyer. The debt buyer is able to sue you to collect the debt. If you overlook the lawsuit, a default judgment will be filed against you, and the court may call your employer to garnish your wages and pay the collection agency.
There is a limit on the amount the creditors may garnish from debtors. They can garnish the lesser of:
- The debtor’s weekly earnings exceed 40 times the hourly minimum wage.
- 25% of the debtor’s earnings (income of the employee received after all tax and payment obligations)
Fighting wage garnishment
There are many ways to fight wage garnishment, which include:
Contacting the creditor
If you are at risk of garnishing wages, you should contact the creditor and arrange a settlement. You can easily avoid wage garnishment if the creditor permits a payment plan. But you should never negotiate with creditors unless you have an attorney on your side.
You may be able to file an exemption to stop or reduce the amount of the wage garnishment that has been ordered against you. To successfully file an exemption, you must establish to the court that you need that money for basic necessities.
Fight the judgment
At last, if your wages are garnished due to default judgment, you can challenge the decision in court. There are several valid reasons to fight for the default judgment. For instance, you can fight by proving that you did not receive any notice of the lawsuit or was a result of a mistake, neglect, surprise, or inadvertence.
If you risk being sued by a debt collector in Chicago, you should have a debt collection attorney on your side. Your attorney will represent you if you are sued. Do not wait for your case to reach court while you can negotiate a settlement or come up with a repayment plan.