Attorney Christine A. Kingston brings more than 10 years of competent legal representation in Bankruptcy Law. She only represents consumers in Chapter 7, Chapter 13, and Adversary Proceedings to protect her client’s interests, helping them get their Fresh Start by eliminating their debts and keep their assets. Need help with student loans? Look no further, attorney Kingston has discharged more than $1.5 Million in student loan debt for her clients since 2010.
We assure you that our team of compassionate and dedicated professionals at Surf City Lawyers understand the stress and difficulty you’re facing right now and we look forward to partnering with you on your journey to freedom from debt.
Give us a call before you pay money to anyone else. Surf City Lawyers prides themselves on providing a holistic approach to your financial future by not only putting our experience, expertise and reputation to work for you before, during and after your case is discharged.
A wage garnishment is a legal process where a creditor has the power to take money from your paycheck before you get paid. Creditors can legally require your employer to hand over part of your earnings to pay off your debts when they have a court order. Your wages can also be garnished administratively by the IRS for back taxes and defaulted student loans, which means these creditors don’t have to get a court order first.
Creditors can take 15% to 50% of your paycheck depending upon what type of creditor they are. Usually if the creditor sued you and got a judgment then they can garnish up to 25%, while the IRS can take up to 50% for back taxes.
Before the garnishment takes effect, you will get a notice from your employer. Your employer cannot fire you over this, but they cannot legally stop it for you. What you’ll need to know is what day is the last day you can stop that wage garnishment before your payroll is processed. This is called the, “payroll cutoff date.”
The payroll cutoff date is very important and you must move fast to be sure you have accurate information and a strategy to get there.
You can stop a wage garnishment without bankruptcy under limited circumstances. You can call the creditor or their attorney and pay the debt in full, but that’s just nonsense because we all know you would have done that if you only had the money. If the garnishment will cause a financial hardship, you could go back to the court to ask the judge to give you a payment plan based on your situation. There also may still be time to negotiate a settlement at a reduced amount. Just remember when you settle debt for less that what you owe, you may get a 1099 tax bill and be require to pay taxes on that cancelled debt. You may also want to fight the garnishment if you don’t owe the debt.
If this garnishment is the only debt you’re dealing with, then bankruptcy might not be right for you unless it’s more money than you can pay back in five years or less.
Bankruptcy will legally stop a wage garnishment dead in its tracks. The moment your case is filed you get legal protection against garnishments, foreclosures, bank levy, and collections lawsuits also stop. This is called the, “Automatic Stay.” It’s automatic because it comes into play as soon as your case is filed. That’s why your creditors don’t want you to file. Creditors know they won’t get a dime of your money if you file for bankruptcy under the liquidation of a Chapter 7 case.
Oh, and don’t worry if the creditor won’t negotiate with you or help you get on a payment plan that you can afford. There’s another type of bankruptcy under Chapter 13 of the bankruptcy code that will give you a court ordered payment plan that you get some control over.
Sometimes life gives you lemons to squeeze and maybe this wage garnishment was your opportunity to take a powerful stand against your debt collectors once and for all. Below is a payment comparison chart that may inspire you to get out of debt.
“I was originally scared out of my mind when realizing that my best option would be to file for Bankruptcy after losing 2 different jobs during this recession. My Attorney, Christine Wilton, made the process easy to understand and took the fear out of one of the biggest decisions of my life. I was well informed of the process, how it worked, and where my file was every step of the way. Christine continues to be a knowledgeable resource, even though my case has been closed for over a year now. I couldn’t recommend a better person to file your Bankruptcy case!”
–Thank you so much, Christine!
“I called Ms. Wilton for advice about a pending bankruptcy motion. She gave me a half-hour of phone time just to discuss the case, even though she knew that I lived in Northern California, was representing myself, and was unable to retain her given my financial circumstances. In addition, she took the time to e-mail me a number of cases that she thought would be helpful to my case.”
–Christine gives lawyers a good name.
“I highly recommend Christine to be your attorney for a few reasons. One, she communicates well, so you always know where you stand and what the next steps entail (no guessing on your part). Both Christine and her team respond to your questions quickly which is a plus! Two, Christine is well educated and prepared. Three, Christine and her team really simplify the process and each step involved, which makes you feel comfortable and not overwhelmed. Most importantly, she loves what she does, it shows and that is why she is the best. Give her a call; you will be glad you did.”
–Highly Recommend Christine Ann Wilton