Wage Garnishments

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Wage Garnishment Defense Lawyer in Charlotte

Charlotte Bankruptcy Attorneys Stopping Wage Garnishments in North Carolina

The threat of wage garnishments is very real for those facing debt. It can be frightening to think of losing money you've worked so hard for just because you can't afford to repay certain debts.However, there are legal defenses our Charlotte bankruptcy lawyers can assert to prevent your wages from being garnished. If your wages are being (or are about to be) garnished by a creditor, you should call our office immediately to schedule your free consultation. Time is of the essence when it comes to wage garnishments!


North Carolina General Statutes (G.S. 1-362) addresses wage garnishments in North Carolina. According to this statute, a court may order that a person's property is to be applied towards the satisfaction of a judgment obtained by a creditor.


How Bankruptcy Can Stop Garnishment

If you are being garnished for an ambulance bill, public hospital bill or older taxes, a Chapter 7 bankruptcy could automatically stop the garnishment and wipe out (i.e. discharge) the debt. However, debts such as child support, alimony or student loans cannot be discharged through a Chapter 7. If you are being garnished for these types of debts, a Chapter 13 bankruptcy would enable you to "spread out" the debt and repay it over the next 36-60 months, thereby making it more affordable.

Chapter 13 bankruptcy is a better option for relieving the following debts:

  • Taxes
  • Student loans
  • Child Support
  • Alimony
  • Ambulance or public hospital services (in certain counties)

Out-of-State Garnishments

Unfortunately, it is not against the law for an employer to honor a wage garnishment order entered by another state. Even though North Carolina courts sometimes honor such "foreign judgments", you do have options for getting these garnishments stopped!​ There are legal requirements a creditor must meet before an out of state judgment can be enforced against you in North Carolina.

Our Charlotte bankruptcy attorneys are often able to successfully challenge a garnishment order by arguing the creditor failed to comply with the legal prerequisites contained in the Uniform Enforcement of Foreign Judgments Act. However, even if the creditor has met all the necessary requirements to have their foreign judgment enforced against you, you still have options to stop the garnishment!

Defense Against Wage Garnishments and Other Judgements

If we determine that you are being garnished via a legally valid wage order, there are Federal Wage Garnishment Restrictions our attorneys can often use to decrease the amount you are being garnished. These federal restrictions limit the amount a creditor can take out of each paycheck. Additionally, if particular creditor cannot use wage garnishment to enforce their judgment, there are many other ways for creditors to enforce their judgment against you.

A judgment creditor may be able to:

  • Levy (i.e. take money out of) your bank account(s)
  • Attempt to sell your personal property
  • Attach a judgment lien on any real property (i.e. real estate) you own. Such judgment liens are valid for 10 years and can be re-recorded every 10 years until they are paid off. Additionally, judgment liens keep accruing interest until they are paid. Judgment liens "attach" to your real estate and must be repaid before you can ever sell or refinance the property.

Fired due to wage garnishment?

If you believe you were fired due to a wage garnishment order, you may have a legal cause of action agaist your employer to get your job back or seek money damages. There are state and federal laws which prohibit an employer from firing you because of a wage garnishment order. However, if you are garnished for more than one debt, this could affect you ability to challenge your being fired.

If you believe you have been fired due to a wage garnishment, our attorneys can examine the facts and advise you whether you have a claim. Saffa Law Group understands what you're facing and our Charlotte bankruptcy lawyers are here to fight for your rights until we achieve a favorable outcome.

Don't let your hard earned wages be unfairly taken! Call us today for counsel.

Will my wages be garnished?

When you have debt that needs to be repaid, creditors may be able to "garnish" money from your wages to cover the cost of you debt. Creditors are held to very strict standards and are usually required to first obtain a court judgment that states that you owe them money before they are able to garnish your wages.

Debts that do not require a court judgment include:

  • Court ordered child support
  • Defaulted student loans
  • Unpaid income taxes
  • Child support arrears

Creditors are also only allowed to garnish a certain amount of money from your paycheck; they must leave you enough to pay for living expenses. North Carolina law states that if your disposable income is less than 30 times the federal minimum wage, creditors cannot obtain a wage garnishment order. Furthermore, if you have more than one garnishment, only 25% of your disposable income can be used for unpaid debts.

Take Legal Action to Protect Your Finances

Your employer does not have to withhold money from your check for car loans, credit card debt, and other personal debts. Many times, creditors will act dishonestly and cheat individuals out of money that is rightfully theirs and go unpunished, simply because people are unaware of wage garnishment laws.

If you are concerned that a creditor may try to garnish your wages, or feel that your wages were taken illegally, please contact our Charlotte bankruptcy attorneys. We are eager to address your concerns and use our 30+ years of experience to help resolve your case.