For many Washington residents, making ends meet can be a struggle. Layoffs, reductions in the workforce, and unemployment make paying bills an ongoing challenge. When individuals fall behind on their debt payments, whether for credit cards, medical expenses, or otherwise, their creditors may seek to garnish their wages to pay the debt. For those already facing hard times, the loss of any portion of their paycheck will be devastating. It is possible, however, to prevent or stop wage garnishment through bankruptcy. Ben Cushman is an Olympia attorney who represents individuals throughout the bankruptcy process. Ben has been helping clients in Washington since 1996. Contact our office today to schedule a consultation. Our firm also serves Tacoma and other areas in Washington, including Grays Harbor, Mason, Cowlitz, and Pacific Counties.
Olympia lawyer preventing creditors from garnishing wages during bankruptcy
Wage garnishment occurs when money is withheld from your paycheck by court order to pay off debt. Depending upon the details of the judgment, the garnishment may continue until the entire obligation is paid in full. It goes without saying that for individuals who are already unable to pay their bills, taking money from their paycheck will likely make their financial situation even worse. If multiple creditors seek to garnish wages from the debtor or the lack of wages creates more overdue payments, the problem will snowball. Filing for bankruptcy may prevent a debtor from experiencing this financial tailspin. Once a Petition for bankruptcy is filed, an automatic stay goes into place, preventing creditors from pursuing collection actions. This includes attempts to obtain judgments in court or to enforce existing judgments. If an existing garnishment order is in place, the automatic stay renders it unenforceable and will stop the withholding. It is important to note that orders to pay child support or alimony are not impacted by the automatic stay, and garnishment orders to collect such amounts will remain in place.
If you have financial obligations that you cannot afford to pay, many of these debts may be dischargeable in bankruptcy. Individuals who qualify, may file Chapter 7 bankruptcy and eliminate debt in exchange for the liquidation of certain nonexempt assets. As stated above, initiating this process will stop wages from being garnished and prevent other creditors from taking similar collection actions. Debtors are permitted to keep their wages during the bankruptcy proceeding and after the debts are discharged in full at the end of the case. Higher wage earners may seek Chapter 13 bankruptcy protection if they are not eligible for Chapter 7 protection. An automatic stay will also prevent wage garnishment in a Chapter 13 proceeding. A portion of the debts will be subject to a repayment plan, but outstanding balances may be discharged after the repayment period. Your attorney will review your case and help determine which option may be right for you.
Financial hardship can be extremely stressful, especially when individuals are facing wage garnishment from creditors. Bankruptcy may be the only option for these residents to rebuild their financial future. Ben Cushman is an Olympia lawyer with experience in cases involving wage garnishments and other creditor collection actions. Bankruptcy can be a difficult decision but can provide an important fresh financial start for your family. Contact us today to speak with an attorney.
Washington lawyer focused on service and respect during bankruptcy
Ben is an attorney who understands how overwhelming debt can seem like an insurmountable problem. His clients are often struggling to make ends meet and cannot handle further pressure from creditors. Regardless of the causes of financial hardship, his clients are treated with respect throughout the process. He prides himself on providing customer service at the highest level. Ben will answer your questions, responding to emails and phone calls quickly. This is true for clients in Olympia and throughout other areas of Washington.
Our firm also serves the Thurston County cities of Lacey, Tumwater, and Yelm, the Pierce County cities of Tacoma, Puyallup, and Lakewood, the Lewis County cities of Centralia, Chehalis, the King County cites of Seattle, Auburn, Bellevue, Burien, and Federal Way, as well as other areas in Washington, including Grays Harbor, Mason, Cowlitz, and Pacific Counties.