Is there a legal way to stop a wage garnishment from a creditor without filing bankruptcy?

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Is there a legal way to stop a wage garnishment from a creditor without filing bankruptcy?

I have received a letter indicating I was being sued in a civil lawsuit from a creditor. The letter did not mention a court date. I have been unable to reach a settlement with them I can afford monthly. I have no idea how much they can take out of my wages or if they even plan to do so. I do not want to file bankruptcy. What can or should I do?

Asked on August 4, 2010 under Bankruptcy Law, Mississippi

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

The wage garnishment will come after a judgement is rendered.  What you received is a Summons and Complaint suing you for the debt.  The judgement happens after you either fail to answer or you lose you case.  However, you can answer the complaint - just go down to the court listed in the papers and speak with the clerk about putting in an answer - so that you do not default, and then when you get before a Judge you can ask for a reasonable amount to pay every month.  If they get a judgement they can garnish and the amount is set by statute.  Certain income can not be garnished - social security or disability generally - it is considered exempt. There may be credit counseling agencies that can help.  Check with you state attorney general's office.  Good luck.


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