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How Do Wage Garnishments Work?

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If you have fallen deeply into debt—and chances are you do have some major concerns if you are reading this article—you join millions of others within the US who may be struggling to pay the mortgage amidst fear of foreclosure, the car payment before the vehicle is towed away in the middle of the night and repossessed credit cards, and basics like utilities, along with other complications like wage garnishments.

Student loans may be playing a significant role in your inability to pay some debts, and especially what could be an average of almost $400 a month for younger borrowers in the 20- to 30-year-old range. Whether a loan goes into default for a federal or private student loan, or both, the repercussions can be extremely negative, and difficult to move past in the coming years. And while it is highly recommended that you do everything possible to avoid a student loan default, as you continue to pay diligently, you may also begin to falter in other areas.

While many legal actions and scheduled court proceedings have come to a halt during the Coronavirus pandemic and subsequent lockdowns of most cities, if you were sued previously and lost, a default judgment may have been granted against you—especially if you did not respond to the lawsuit and did not appear in court.

With a default judgment at their disposal, the newly empowered creditors can do one, or a mixture of the following: garnish your wages, have property seized, or freeze your bank accounts. Wage garnishing is most popular, and easy for the creditor as all the responsibility falls on you to work—and the employer to mail them up to 25 percent of your disposable income out of every check until the debt is satisfied. In some cases, wage garnishments may even be due to an individual you owe money to, and the process is the same after a court order is issued for the employer to pay them.

The repercussions of a default judgment can be long-standing, as such a court decision lasts for ten years. Beyond that, if the debt is not satisfied, the creditor can petition the court for an extension of another ten years. You may not have a job now, meaning there is no potential for wage garnishment, but consider what could happen in the next two decades.

Speak with an attorney from Fitzgerald & Campbell, APLC as soon as possible to examine your options. Our attorneys have decades of experience in serving clients as they navigate through challenging financial situations, to include student loan issues, bankruptcy, and other debt management processes. We are here to help! Click here to schedule a free 30-minute consultation, call us at (844) 431-3851, or email us at

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