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Filing Bankruptcy to Stop a Garnishment

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Morgan R. Teague, Esq.
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If I file bankruptcy today will my paycheck still be garnished tomorrow?

The short answer is yes.  However, there are several things to keep in mind:

If you are being garnished, you are likely filing bankruptcy to stop that garnishment. Filing bankruptcy will stop the garnishment. Creditors are not allowed to collect from you while you are in the bankruptcy. However, given that payroll is likely done several days before you are actually paid, the garnishment may continue 1-2 paychecks after the bankruptcy is filed.  It is not as simple as filing and the garnishment stopping. Here is what has to happen:

  1. You file bankruptcy (making sure you list the creditor that is garnishing as well as the attorney for that creditor so that they can receive notice).
  2. After filing, have your attorney contact the creditor’s attorney and give them notice of the bankruptcy and request a release of garnishment. The creditor’s attorney then has to process this request and then send notice of the release of garnishment to both your attorney and to your employment to stop the garnishment.
  3. Once your payroll department receives the garnishment they release the garnishment and stop deducting from your paychecks.

This can happen in 1 day or in 1-2 weeks depending on how quickly the creditor and the payroll department move. However, if you are garnished AFTER the filing of the bankruptcy any money taken will be returned to you but again the time that this takes can range from a few days to a few weeks based on the creditors attorney and your payroll department depending on who has the money when the notice if received.

To avoid all of the above, file the bankruptcy because you even receive a garnishment, a judgment or a summons. If you are in debt and cannot afford to pay your way out of debt, consult a bankruptcy attorney.

Category: Bankruptcy

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