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:
- Student loans
- Child Support
- Ambulance or public hospital services (in certain counties)
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,
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)
sell your personal property
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
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.