Most people have an approximate idea of how much money to expect on each paycheck. Whether you are a salaried or an hourly employee, you rely on the monthly or bi-monthly payment you received as compensation for time worked. Imagine that you open a paycheck to find out that the amount you’re receiving is half of what you expected. The issue might not be an accounting error. Every month, millions of people in the United States have money deducted from their paycheck to pay their outstanding debts. When you have a large debt to either the IRS, another company, or an individual, the result can be a garnishment of wages.
What are your Rights when Wages are Garnished?
In the event that your wages are garnished by a creditor, you still have certain rights. These rights include:
- Under the Consumer Credit Protection Act, Federal law indicates certain restrictions on how much money can be deducted from your paycheck. Creditors are legally allowed to garnish up to 25% of your total earnings.
- The option to pay off the debt with a low-interest loan over a set period of time. For example, if you have the ability to secure a 7% loan to payoff a credit card that has a 38% interest rate, this is a good route to consider.
- In order to halt the garnishment of wages, bankruptcy could be your best option. Depending on how you file, you might be able to stop the discharge of your debts.
To best understand the extent of your rights in this situation, it is helpful to seek out legal advice.
What Should You Do if your Wages are Being Garnished?
Although creditors are responsible for sending out multiple notifications before moving to garnish wages, the event might still come as a surprise. For this reason, it is important to understand the judgment that has been set against you.
- The first step is to figure out who is collecting money out of your paycheck. To do this, ask your employer to provide documentation on who is garnishing your wages, and the total amount they have reported is due. In most cases, the creditor is required to provide a court order indicating that they have gone through the legal process of requesting and receiving permission to garnish your wages.
- Next, confirm that the amount of debt reported is correct. Accounting errors are more common than most people imagine, and it is important to make sure that you agree with the amount that the creditor says you owe.
- Make sure that the creditors are not garnishing more money than is legally allowed.
- Finally, contact a lawyer to figure out the next best steps.
Contact a Salt Lake City Attorney Today
If you are going through a garnishment of wages, it is important to understand your rights. In some cases, the judgement is incorrect, and it is important to figure this out as soon as possible. Contact the legal team at JLT Law at (801) 896-9444 or online for an initial consultation and to better understand your options and the best way to proceed.