Can my wages be garnished for the balance of repossessed truck?

Truck was repossessed and sold for far less than I owed. They say they can garnish my wages for the balance. Is that legal? Can they do this?

Asked on June 11, 2009 under Bankruptcy Law, Texas

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

You're in Texas? Are you also paid from a Texas location (i.e. the office or business you work for is in Texas)? If so, then they can't garnish your wages. Most states allow wage garnishment, but Texas generally does not. See title 3 of Texas’ Civil Practice and Remedies Code, Chapter 63.[ http://www.statutes.legis.state.tx.us] for the law relating to it.

There are some exceptions in the event you are paid from an out-of-state location. Then, even though it's cumbersome to do, there are ways to take a judgment against you to another state and have your wages garnished.

Note also that under both federal and Texas debt collection law, debt collectors are limited in their ability to make threats against you to get you to pay.

Note that you are still legally obligated for  the balance on the truck, and if you have other assets, those are potentially at risk, as is your credit rating. You might want to see if you could settle for less than the full amount, with a repayment schedule you can afford, to avoid potentially being sued and other negative effects.


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