7 Things You Can Do If Your Wages Are Being Garnished
If your wages are being garnished, you may be wondering what you can do to get them back. Unfortunately, there is not a lot you can do to stop the garnishment, but there are ways you can mitigate the damage it does to your finances. Here are six things you can do if your wages are being garnished.
What is wage garnishment?
Wage garnishment is when a creditor takes a portion of your paycheck to pay off a debt. In most cases, the creditor takes your wages out of your paycheck directly.
Why do wages get garnished?
There are a few reasons why your wages may get garnished. The most common cause is that you are in debt and cannot afford to pay the debt off with traditional methods. Another reason is if you have delinquent taxes. If you owe money to the government, your wages may be garnished to help pay that debt. Finally, if you are behind on your child support payments, your wages may also be garnished to help cover that debt.
7n things to do if your wages get garnished
1. Contact the creditor and dispute the garnishment.
If you are being garnished and do not have an attorney, you should contact the creditor and dispute the garnishment. Depending on the state, there may be procedures you can follow to have the garnishment stopped.
2. Speak to a lawyer.
If you have an attorney, they can file a motion to stop or reduce the garnishment based on your unique situation. They may also be able to negotiate a settlement with the creditor that would avoid having any further wage earnings taken.
3. Make a plan to get back on track financially.
If you cannot afford to pay your debts and are having your wages garnished, it is vital to make a plan for how you'll survive during this time that you're earning less than anticipated. This means setting budgets and sticking to them, getting a job that pays better wages, or reducing your other debts so that there's more money to go around. Consider using a loan consolidation calculator if you have other outstanding debts to afford to pay them all at once.
4. Contact your union or professional organizations.
If you are a union member, you may be able to get help from your union with negotiations or filing a grievance. If you are not a union member, consider contacting professional organizations that represent workers in your field (such as the American Bar Association) and asking if they can guide you in dealing with wage garnishments.
5. Seek government assistance.
Depending on your situation, you may be able to seek government assistance to avoid having your wages garnished entirely. This might include applying for welfare, food stamps, or other forms of assistance, depending on your state's program availability and guidelines.
6. Request a wage adjustment.
If you are currently working but are having your wages garnished, you may be able to request a wage adjustment from your employer. This would reduce the amount of money that gets taken from your earnings each month but may prolong the duration of your garnishment.
7. Stay positive and stay determined.
It's easier said than done to stay positive during a moment like this, but it's important to remember that you are not alone, and there are steps that you can take to get through this difficult time. Be determined not to let wage garnishments defeat you, and remember that there are resources available to help you succeed.
The bottom line
Wage garnishment is a difficult time, but remember that it's only temporary, and there are ways to get through it if you stay determined and optimistic.