Garnishments and Bank Levies

Garnishments and bank levies are often times one of the pushing forces making people to finally take the plunge file bankruptcy. You may have considered bankruptcy in the past. Maybe you have even met with bankruptcy attorneys. Some people have even retained a bankruptcy attorney and possibly already begun working on the paperwork need to file the bankruptcy. However, for one reason or another you have delayed the filing of the bankruptcy. You may have known for a while that it needs to be done but there is nothing pressing you or giving you the sense of urgency to complete the process. Often time people drag out the process to avoid the inevitable. While it is hard to accept for some people, filing sooner rather than later is wholly in your benefit.

At some point after creditor’s notice you are falling behind they will likely filing a lawsuit against you. You will be notified of the lawsuit by receiving a summons asking you to appear in court. If you appear in court you may be able to get a continuance to a later date, usually 3-4 weeks out. If you do not appear at the court date you will receive a default judgment. Once the creditor has a judgment against you they can apply to the court for a garnishment. The court will then send notice to your employer or to your last known employer ordering them to withhold funds from your paychecks. The garnishment can be upwards of 25% of your paycheck. However, if you are head of household, have dependents, etc. the total garnishment limit may be lowered to 10%. Now, even though you have retained an attorney, the creditor is getting up to 25% of every paycheck simply because you have not completed the process of the bankruptcy. Once the creditor as a judgment they can also put a levy on any bank accounts with your name on them. A levy acts as a freeze on your account. A bank levy as a return date attached to it. They will keep the account frozen until the return date in hopes that other funds will be deposited into your account through direct deposit, etc. On the return any funds in the account will be withdrawn and sent to the creditor.

Do not allow the stress of a garnishment or bank levy interfere with your everyday expenses. Be proactive and file the bankruptcy right away.