Can I get garnished even if I’ve been paying my bill?

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Can I get garnished even if I’ve been paying my bill?

I have received a garnishment for a bill. Although I have been paying on my bill. They still sent the garnishment to me.

Asked on March 15, 2012 under Bankruptcy Law, Tennessee

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Have you been paying everything you were supposed to--so for example, if the bill was due, say, 30 days after receipt, did you pay it in full within that time? Or if there was some payment plan or schedule which the other party agreed to, have you been honoring it? If you've been paying as per a prior agreement or the terms of service, then they cannot seek garnishment. On the other hand, if you have not been paying everything you were supposed to when you were supposed to, then you are in default of your obligations; and once you are in default, then even if you are paying what you can afford to pay, the other party may take legal or collections action. So, for example, say you received $5,000 of medical care, the bill for which was payable by end December 2011. If you did not pay it in full by then, then unless the medical care provider agreed to a payment plan, then could take action against you, even if you have been paying, say, $500 a month towards it. The problem is, you have no right to pay other as as per the terms of the bill or service, unless the other party specifically agreed to let you do so.


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