Los Angeles Wage Garnishment Lawyers
Wage garnishment is a common method for creditors to collect what you owe them. It typically involves the creditor taking legal action through the courts to secure a judgment and court order. This order mandates that your employer withholds part of your wages to be forwarded directly to the creditor until the amount you owe is fully paid.
If you are facing wage garnishment, it is essential that you consult with an attorney at Papian & Adamian. We focus much of our practice on debt relief and the issues that can arise due to debt problems. Our job is to ensure your rights are protected, help you find solutions to avoiding or stopping wage garnishment, and assist overall in resolving the problem of overwhelming debt. It is important to act quickly in these matters to avoid the negative consequences of income loss.
Put one of our Los Angeles wage garnishment attorneys on your side by calling us at (833) 360-8605 or sending us a message with your contact details. Your initial consultation is complimentary.
Wage Garnishment Overview
Wage garnishment can be used to collect many types of debts, including:
- Court-ordered judgments: If a creditor wins a lawsuit against a debtor, such as for credit card debt, medical bills, or other unsecured debt, they can obtain a court order to garnish wages.
- Unpaid taxes: The IRS can garnish wages without a court order to collect unpaid taxes.
- Unpaid child support or alimony: A court order can authorize wage garnishment to collect unpaid child support or alimony.
- Defaulted student loans: The U.S. Department of Education or a private lender can obtain a court order to garnish wages for defaulted student loans.
As mentioned above, for a creditor to garnish your wages, they must secure a money judgment from the court, along with a garnishment order. The amount garnished is taken from your disposable income, which is what remains after your employer takes deductions for state and federal taxes, Social Security, Medicare, or other taxes.
California law limits how much can be garnished from your disposable wages, under two rules:
- 25% of your weekly disposable income
- 50% of the amount by which your disposable income for that week exceeds 40 times the minimum wage for that week
It's important to note that certain types of income, such as Social Security benefits and veterans' benefits, are generally protected from wage garnishment. However, wage garnishment can be used to collect other types of debts, so it's important to seek legal advice if faced with this issue.
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Wage Garnishment Can Occur Without a Court Judgment
Certain types of debt can lead to wage garnishment without the need for a court order.
These types of debt are all subject to limitations on how much can be taken from your wages:
- State, federal, and local taxes: For back taxes owed locally or to the state of California, you can lose up to 25% of your income. The amount varies for federal taxes.
- Child support: Delinquencies in owed child support can lead to garnishment of 50-60% of your disposable income. The amount varies based on how many dependents you have. If you have been in default for at least a year, you may have to pay an additional 5% or more.
- Student loans: On a defaulted student loan, you may be subject to a U.S. Department of Education wage garnishment order of up to 15% of your disposable income, with limitations related to minimum wage, where applicable.
Stop Wage Garnishments with Help from Papian & Adamian
To stop wage garnishment, one option is to file for bankruptcy. This will result in an “automatic stay” imposed by the court against any further action by creditors to collect payment. Another option is to negotiate with the creditor and set up a payment plan before they resort to legal action.
To get started with a plan of attack against wage garnishment, we highly recommend that you speak with one of our attorneys. We can thoroughly review your situation to determine the right solution for your circumstances.