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What is wage garnishment and can you get out of it?

When a person owes money to someone else and has not made active steps to repay that money, the next step may be wage garnishment. In California courts, this means that the courts will not collect money from a debtor but can allow a person’s wages to be withheld to make sure any accrued debt is paid.

Those who refuse to voluntarily pay a creditor may be subject to wage garnishment.  Other terms used to define wage garnishment include the following: earnings withholding, earnings assignment or wage assignment.

Reasons wages may be withheld

One reason that someone may have their wages garnished is for spousal support or child support. If a person is required by law to pay these debts and does not, the money may be withheld from a paycheck on a regular basis until it is paid off. Tax liability also leads to wage garnishment in certain situations.

Wage garnishment may be stopped with the help of a good lawyer

One way to get out of wage garnishment is to discuss the debt with the creditor. There may be a way to create a payment arrangement without withholding money from a paycheck.

California also allows for wage garnishment to stop if the person files an exemption. If the person can prove that they need the money to support them and their family members, they might be eligible for an exemption.

There is also the option to fight the judgement or file for bankruptcy. All these solutions involve an extensive amount of paperwork and legal knowledge that the average person may not possess. This is when it may be beneficial to speak to a lawyer who understands tax controversy and wage garnishment.