Can a credit card company take money from my paycheck, if I use the money to support my little sister and I?

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Can a credit card company take money from my paycheck, if I use the money to support my little sister and I?

I’m a 25 year that has a part-time job and is supporting my little sister. My paycheck is for rent, food, and gas for our car. I can’t afford to have any of my money taken from my paycheck. What can I do?

Asked on May 10, 2012 under Bankruptcy Law, California

Answers:

S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

The credit card company can take money from your check after obtaining a wage garnishment.  The wage garnishment was obtained to enforce a court judgment against you.

If you were served with a summons and complaint (complaint is the lawsuit attached to the summons) and did not timely file an answer to the complaint with the court and serve your answer to the complaint on the credit card company or its attorney by mail within the time set forth  in the summons, the credit card company obtained a default judgment against you and is enforcing the default judgment with the wage garnishment.

If you were never served with the summons and complaint and therefore did not have an opportunity to respond by filing an answer to the complaint, you can file with the court a motion to set aside the default and can request the wage garnishment be halted.  If the judge grants your motion to set aside the default, the case will then be back on track, you can file an answer to the complaint, and litigation will continue.

If you were served with the summons and complaint and did not timely file your answer to the complaint with the court and serve it by mail on the opposing party, the default judgment was entered as mentioned above and the wage garnishment is to enforce the default judgment.

You can stop the wage garnishment by filing bankruptcy.  Depending on your income and other factors, you may be eligible to file Chapter 7 bankruptcy.  A Chapter 7 bankruptcy is straight liquidation which eliminates your debts.  If you are not eligible to file Chapter 7, you will need to file Chapter 13.  A Chapter 13 bankruptcy requires a plan (budget) for repayment of creditors.


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