If you have unpaid debt and attempts by your lender to collect payment have failed, you could potentially have your wages garnished. When a person’s wages are garnished, a portion of their paycheck is automatically deducted and sent to creditors in order to fulfill the unpaid debt. Once the debt is paid off, the wages are no longer garnished.
Although there are limits to how much of your pay can be taken out in order to satisfy a debt, wage garnishment can still have tremendous financial repercussions. Many people who have their wages garnished were already tight on money to begin with, which is why they were unable to take care of their debt.
What can you do if your wages are garnished? You may have a few different options, including:
Try to resolve the debt
Even after a creditor begins garnishing your wages, you may still be able to negotiate an alternative way to settle the debt. If you have some extra money saved up, or you receive additional money (for example, from a holiday bonus or tax return), offer to settle your debt in one lump sum payment, but for less than what you owe. Even though the creditor may be able to get the full amount you owe by garnishing your wages, this can often take a long time. Many creditors would rather receive more money upfront and just settle the debt once and for all. It doesn’t hurt to ask if there is another way you can settle the debt rather than continuing with wage garnishment. You may even be able to work out a more affordable payment plan by receiving help from a consumer credit counseling service.
File Head of Household
If you provide more than 50 percent of the support for a dependent, such as a child or other family member, you may be able to file Head of Household. Usually, individuals who file as Head of Household are protected from wage garnishment. However, you’ll want to check what the laws are in your state.
Receive local assistance
Some states offer their own assistance programs for those having financial difficulties and also having their wages garnished. Some of these programs can help to reduce or even completely eliminate wage garnishment. To find out what options are offered in your state, consult with a lawyer or contact the clerk of your municipal or county court.
Look at the judgment carefully and ensure that all information is accurate. If you believe that some or all of the information is wrong, you may be able to appeal it and get it dismissed completely. Even a small mistake can potentially result in a dismissal.
File for bankruptcy
Filing for bankruptcy will usually get rid of all judgments and put wage garnishment to an end, but should only be used as a last resort and after you’ve exhausted all other possible options.
Contact Peachtree Financial Solutions
If you’re receiving long-term payments from an annuity or structured settlement, receiving your money sooner can help ease the burden of wage garnishment. This is possible by selling a portion of your future payments to Peachtree Financial Solutions, and in return, Peachtree would be able to send you that money in one lump sum payment.
The lump sum of cash you receive from Peachtree can be used to take care of other expenses and bills that may have accumulated, especially after your wages started getting garnished. There’s also the possibility of putting an end to the wage garnishment completely by using your lump sum payment to pay off your debt.
If you’re interested in learning more about selling a portion of your future payments for a lump sum of cash, contact Peachtree Financial Solutions today. We’ll be happy to answer any questions you have, and we can also offer you a completely free quote.
Nothing above is meant to provide financial or tax advice. You should meet with appropriate professionals for such services.