Kansas City Wage Garnishment Lawyer
People work hard for their money, but sometimes it’s not enough. As financial emergencies become more common, it doesn’t take much for someone to incur a significant amount of debt. Debt can snowball and become more difficult to pay off, especially if attempting to do so could make it difficult for you to afford basic necessities. You need your income to survive, but if you are in serious debt that hasn’t been paid, you may find yourself experiencing wage garnishment.
What Is Wage Garnishment?
Wage garnishment is a legal process for seizing money directly from a defendant’s income on behalf of a plaintiff. A portion of the defendant’s wages is confiscated to satisfy their unfulfilled financial obligations. Wages are typically garnished to pay down delinquent student loan debt, credit card debt, taxes, and child support.
How Does Wage Garnishment Work in Kansas City?
Wage garnishment is usually triggered by a lawsuit from your creditors or a government entity. Through wage garnishment, your creditors can withhold or take up to 25% of your income directly from your paycheck to repay any outstanding debt. Wage garnishment is considered the last stop of the debt collection process, so defendants typically receive numerous warnings that allow them time to course-correct their debt situation before the garnishment process begins. The wage garnishment process usually involves the following steps:
1. You Miss Too Many Payments
Generally, an account becomes delinquent when payment is 30 days past due. The delinquency may be reported to the national credit bureaus after the first missed payment, but some companies wait until the second consecutive missed payment (60 days) before reporting.
2. A Government Entity Initiates Garnishment
In cases where the money you owe isn’t owed to a creditor, such as with child support, delinquent taxes, and federal student loans, a garnishment is initiated by a state or federal entity.
3. You Are Sued for Your Debt
In cases where you owe money to a creditor or collection agency, they will sue you for nonpayment after a certain number of consecutive missed payments.
4. The Court Issues a Monetary Judgment
The plaintiff, the party owed money, obtains a monetary judgment from the court mandating that a portion of your income be diverted to resolve your debt.
5. Your Wages Are Garnished
Following the government’s initiation or the court’s judgment, for a specified period, a percentage of your paycheck is taken to be paid toward your debt. Garnishment may last until your balance is repaid or until a specified date, but it may be negotiated to end earlier or suspended depending on your circumstances.
How To Stop Wage Garnishment
If you want to stop your wage garnishment, you must act quickly. Your best course of action is to seek legal advice from a local wage garnishment lawyer as soon as possible. Depending on your court judgment, you may only have a short window to object to the garnishment. To object to your garnishment, you must prove your legal eligibility for a change to or reversal of the judgment. There are a few circumstances that would allow you to do this:
- Some or all of your income is exempt from garnishment
- You already paid off the debt
- The debt was discharged in bankruptcy
- Garnishment would lead to financial hardship
Bankruptcy is a complicated matter, so before you make this choice, make sure to contact a lawyer.
Why Should I Contact a Wage Garnishment Lawyer?
Whenever you’re handling a legal process with high stakes, you should consider discussing the matter with a lawyer. Legal processes can be complex. A quality lawyer will have years of experience that they can use to answer your questions. Their in-depth understanding of the law can find ways to combat your situation that you may never have even known. There are several circumstances you could encounter when a wage garnishment lawyer would be useful:
- Assisting in managing and filling out difficult forms and paperwork
- Ensuring the correct amount is being taken from your income
- Gathering evidence to prove you have already paid off your debt
- Ensuring all procedural requirements are met to halt or suspend garnishment
- Negotiating another payment arrangement with your creditor
- Protecting you from illegal firing because of the garnishment
Being followed by debt is a matter that should be taken seriously. Do not ignore creditor attempts to collect your debt. Contact a lawyer for your best next steps in handling your case efficiently.
Discuss Your Legal Options with a Kansas City Wage Garnishment Lawyer
No one likes being in debt, and the repercussions that come with missing payments can be financially devastating. You need someone in your corner to help lighten the load who can help you navigate this process, get a fair deal, or even stop the garnishment process altogether.
At Hollis Law Firm, we will protect your rights and work tirelessly in your best interests. Our firm features highly-skilled attorneys with years of experience working in Kansas and Missouri law. We are well-equipped to help you manage your wage garnishment case. To schedule a consultation with a skilled wage garnishment lawyer, contact us at (800) 701-3672 or fill out our contact form.
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