Can my wages be garnished due to an auto loan and can it be avoided by filing bankruptcy?

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Can my wages be garnished due to an auto loan and can it be avoided by filing bankruptcy?

I was engaged to a man bought a truck together and shortly after he left me and took the truck. I cosigned on the loan and he has let the payments go past due to the point of repo. I can’t afford the truck on my own and I don’t know where he is or the truck. What is my best course of action, if they finance company gets the truck back will they still garnish my wages? Can I file bankruptcy to avoid garnishment?

Asked on June 7, 2012 under Bankruptcy Law, Illinois

Answers:

Frank Avellone / Law Office of Frank G. Avellone

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Yes, bankruptcy can avoid a wage garnishment or stop one that is in progress.  However, under Illinois law, the creditor-lender can NOT garnish your wages unless and until they FIRST sue you AND win a court judgment.  Typically, a lender will not sue until they have repossessed the vehicle and sold it at auction. If a balance (or "deficiency") remains after sale, they can try to sue to collect. The lender must follow a series of procedures from repossession to suit, include both pre- and post-sale notices to you. In short, there may be defenses to the lender's lawsuit. If so, then you can save your bankruptcy for another day and defend the case.

Hope this helps.

 


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