The answer is yes.
Wage garnishment is typically a final attempt for a creditor to collect the debts that are owed to them.
However, in order for a creditor to garnish wages, they must get a judgment entered against you. With that judgment there is only a certain amount that can be deducted or garnished from your wages.
The employer is not allowed to deduct from any of your weekly take home pay that is 45 times the federal or state minimum wage, whichever is greater. So if the State of Illinois’s minimum wage is $8/hour, then you would be allowed to take home at least $360.00 per week. If you make less than this, no wages can be deducted. If you make more than this, the creditor can garnish the lesser of the following two amounts:
a. 15% of your weekly gross income, or
b. the amount of take home pay above $360.00
It is important to remember that you can stop the creditor from garnishing your wages if you file for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy.
Even if a garnishment has started, filing chapter 7 bankruptcy in Chicago can stop the garnishment.
Sitting down with the Chicago bankruptcy lawyers with Chang & Carlin will give you the opportunity to review your finances with a bankruptcy expert. They can review your debts and evaluate your income to determine if filing bankruptcy is a good choice and if you will likely qualify for chapter 13 or chapter 7 in Chicago.
Wage garnishment is embarrassing. Once it is put in place your employer becomes aware of the situation because it has to do with your paycheck. They cannot fire you because of your financial debts thanks to the Consumer Protection Act.
The best way to avoid wage garnishment and bankruptcy is to communicate with your creditors and discuss repayment options. When faced with creditors many people are inclined to ignore debt collection attempts until it’s too late. The Chicago bankruptcy lawyers at Chang & Carlin, LLP recommend these methods of repayment:
1. Make Payments – Offer to pay them in agreed upon installments and stick to those payments.
2. Lump Sum – Consider offering your creditor a lump sum amount even if your debt is greater. They may accept the payment that is less than your total owing because partial re-payment is better than nothing. Just make sure they agree to forgive any remaining balance.
If your wages are currently being garnished Chicago bankruptcy lawyers can tell you what your rights are in bankruptcy and answer any questions you may have about the amounts that are being deducted from your paycheck.
It is a tremendous benefit to find Chicago bankruptcy lawyers who offer a Free Legal Consultation. This meeting will allow the attorneys at Chang & Carlin, LLP to determine what your rights are in bankruptcy and what the best course of action is for you.