Wage Garnishments-What is it? How to fight it and Keep Your Hard-Earned Money
Oct. 21, 2020
HOW DID MY WAGES GET GARNISHED?
First, a creditor filed a lawsuit.
Then the creditor got a judgment.
Finally, since they know where you work, they sent the Wage Garnishment.
“I didn’t know someone sued me.” That is not uncommon. But the Clerk of the Court will show a judgment against you.
A Wage Garnishment demands that your employer pays them 15% of your gross income: not net income. For example, gross income is $600 per week the deduction is $90.
WHAT ARE MY OPTIONS?
In Illinois, lawmakers have left you with few choices when you get a brick on your check.
You can pay the full judgment (not likely).
Offer a repayment plan to the creditor (rarely works).
Quit your job (not a good idea).
Grin and bear it (thinking it ends soon, but that may not be true).
File a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 Bankruptcy and stop the Garnishment now so you can get your finances in order.
What is the fastest way to stop the Garnishment? Immediately call a lawyer who concentrates in Bankruptcy law.
The Law Firm of Robert J Adams can file a Bankruptcy in one day. No money but a good job? We can file your case "NO MONEY DOWN."
Call us at (312) 872-8443. A lawyer is available from 7 AM to 7 PM every day, including Saturday and Sunday.
WAGE GARNISHMENTS IN ILLINOIS
A creditor obtains a money judgment against you. Then they serve your employer with a) a Wage Deduction Order, or: b) a Citation to Discover Assets on a 3rd party. The 3rd party is your employer.
Most collection lawyers use the Citation. Why? They get a treasure trove of information about you. Such as:
Your bank account: (Many employers now pay by direct deposit.)
Your home address and phone number. and,
If you recently left that place of employment, your new employer, if known.
When the creditor sends the Garnishment. they add:
Court costs ($85 to $145 and sometimes more).
Accrued interest from the date of the judgment.
The deductions continue until paid in full.
Your employer must honor the garnishment. If they don’t, they will become liable for the entire amount of the judgment. Don’t wait: call a lawyer familiar with the Wage Garnishment laws in Illinois.
LIMITATIONS ON A WAGE GARNISH ORDER
Do you pay child support from your paycheck? The amount you pay for child support will be deducted from the 15%. An example wage-$600; 15% is $90; child support order is $40; the wage deduction is $50.
Illinois law has an exemption of 45 times the state of Illinois weekly minimum wages. Currently, the State of Illinois’ minimum wage is $12 per hour. You should be able to take home $540 of your disposable income.
A Wage Garnishment does not stop a creditor from pursuing other collection tactics:
Garnishing bank accounts and/or credit union accounts.
Filing judgment liens.
Employers can charge a service fee for each pay period.
Overtime pay and bonuses are subject to garnishment. So even if you earn extra money, your creditors benefit.
The law prohibits an employer from firing an employee for the first garnishment. There is no protection from a second garnishment. Employers can look for other reasons to fire an employee.
A Bankruptcy filing only protects further wages. Any amount already deducted is lost to the creditor.
Can you appeal to the court that the Wage Garnishment is an undue hardship? It will not work.
Others Who Can Attach Your Paycheck without a Judgment
The IRS can levy your paycheck.
The government for back child support.
The federal government for student loans.
The State of Illinois for certain debts.