If you, like many other Virginians, struggle with high debt and not enough income, it can be difficult to get back on your feet. Individuals in debt may face garnishment if they owe child support, student loans or any other number of debts. If your wages or bank accounts are garnished on behalf of a plaintiff creditor, it’s important to know that there are legal ways to stop garnishment for hard-working people. At the Agarwal Law Firm, our lead bankruptcy attorney works with everyday Virginians to help get them the financial lifeline they deserve.
Benefits of Working with a Bankruptcy Attorney
The fact that a creditor or government agency has garnished your income and resources demonstrates you are financially overwhelmed. An experienced bankruptcy attorney can review your financial portfolio and present options about best next steps. A Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy filing may be the logical path for the following reasons.
- Stops Garnishment: Once a bankruptcy has been filed, creditors are required to stop all efforts to collect the debt. That results in the garnishment being removed.
- Renegotiation: Filing for Virginia bankruptcy provides a break in which your lawyer can negotiate with creditors. In some cases, new terms can be agreed upon that allows you to withdraw the filing.
- Financial Freedom: Following through with bankruptcy can discharge debt and permanently remove wage and bank account garnishments. At the end of the process, you will have full use to your income, resources and a fresh financial start.
In many ways, garnishments double the personal and financial stress you are going through. Not having the resources to keep pace with monthly necessities is exacerbated by the fact the garnishment is siphoning off the revenue you need.
Chapter 7 and 13 Bankruptcy in Richmond, VA
If you have received a wage or bank account attachment notice, or are falling behind on bills and obligations, it’s essential to speak with an experienced garnishment and bankruptcy attorney. At the Agarwal Law Firm, we won’t let aggressive creditors exploit your difficult financial situation. See if our bankruptcy lawyers serve your Virginia county, then contact our Richmond office and schedule a free garnishment consultation today.
Frequently Asked Questions
Will garnishment affect my credit score?
If your wages are being garnished, the chances are that a debt has been reported to credit resources and it’s already negatively impacted your score. Although creditors often do not take the time to report a garnishment, they are a matter of public record if a credit agency looks. It’s usually in a debtor’s best interest to have an experienced attorney work out a repayment plan that resolves the issue and avoids unnecessary credit damage.
How does a garnishment affect taxes?
There are a number of ways that a garnishment relates to taxes. In Virginia, the state utilizes “Tax Intercept” to take refunds when child support is owed. The government may take the full arrearage and send you the remainder. If the debt exceeds your refund, expect the complete refund to be credited to the outstanding child support. Weekly tax withholdings also affect garnishments because the state puts limits on how much a creditor can take. Basically, the more taxes are withheld, the lower the amount a creditor can take.
Does Virginia allow garnishment of wages?
The short answer is yes; but Virginia garnishment laws are quite complicated. In most cases, a creditor will have to go to court and secure a money judgment against you before attaching your wages. There are exceptions such as unpaid taxes and child support, among others. The government does not necessarily need to file a civil lawsuit to garnish your wages.
The state also places strict limits on how much a creditor can take from your earnings. The maximum allowable garnishment stands at 25 percent of your “disposable income.” Many people simply call this “take-home pay.” However, in garnishments related to student loans, the number is only 15 percent. The garnishment math can be tricky, which is why it’s in your best interest to consult with an experienced bankruptcy attorney.