How Much Can My Wages Be Garnished In Las Vegas?
Is Bankruptcy a Good Way To Deal With Wage Garnishments?
Many creditors’ favorite form of collection is the wage garnishment- an automatic percentage to be deducted from each of your paychecks until your balance is paid in full. It’s likely that your creditor will also be able to add attorney’s fees and interest to your balance, making it take even longer to end your wage garnishment. This can compound your debt problem and make it even harder for you to keep up with your monthly bills. So what are your options if you have a wage garnishment? In most cases, it’s pay it off or file bankruptcy, or the debt will stay with you until you die. Here, our Las Vegas bankruptcy lawyers discuss wage garnishments in further detail, and if bankruptcy is a good way to deal with yours.
How Does a Wage Garnishment Start?
For most wage garnishments, your creditors will need to successfully obtain a judgment against you through a lawsuit first. You will be served with a summons that provides you with a date and time to show up in court. If you can’t prove that you don’t owe your creditor, or you don’t show up, the court will grant your creditor a judgment against you. The creditor will then take that judgment to the court and ask for a writ of garnishment. Once it is received and served upon your employer, the wage garnishment will become effective for that pay period.
There is an exception to this process for certain types of debts. For these priority debts, the creditor does not have to obtain a judgment against you before proceeding with a wage garnishment. They will still need to provide notice. These priority debts include back child support, unpaid income tax, defaulted student loans, and court-ordered child support.
Wage Garnishment Limits In Nevada
The limits for wage garnishments can vary based on the type of debt. The type of debt with the lowest limit is student debt. Student loans can be garnished at 15% of your paychecks. Most other types of debts are capped at 25% of your paychecks. However, if you can prove it is causing you severe financial hardship, you may be able to convince the court to lower your wage garnishment to 15%.
The wage garnishment for child support debt in Las Vegas is much higher than other types of debt. Under certain circumstances, it could end up being almost ⅔ of your paycheck! If you have another dependent- a spouse or child- 50% is the maximum amount that your wages can be garnished. If you don’t have any other dependents, that increases to 60%. Therefore, if you fall more than 12 weeks behind on your child support payments, another 5% will be added on to your applicable maximum.
The Automatic Stay & Las Vegas Wage Garnishments
When you file bankruptcy, something called the Automatic Stay becomes active. This is a legal protection that stops your creditors from taking several types of actions against you. The automatic stay prevents evictions in certain phases, home foreclosures, vehicle repossessions, bank levies, utility shutoffs, and more. It will also stop most types of wage garnishments. The automatic stay lasts until your case is discharged or dismissed. That means about 3-6 months of protection in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, and 3-5 years of protection in a Chapter 13 bankruptcy. However, your case could be subject to exceptions, so you should always discuss this with your bankruptcy attorney first.
The automatic stay will stop most wage garnishments, but it might not stop your wage garnishment if it stems from child support. Filing bankruptcy does not relieve you of your obligation to financially support your child. The automatic stay from a Chapter 7 bankruptcy will do nothing to stop a child support wage garnishment. Only a Chapter 13 bankruptcy that fully pays off your balance in arrears will stop a child support wage garnishment upon filing.
If your wage garnishment came from a debt like a credit card or a medical bill, it will be discharged with your bankruptcy. However, if the debt isn’t discharged by your bankruptcy, your wage garnishment will begin again after your case has been discharged. A common example of this is student loan wage garnishments.
What Are My Legal Rights If My Wages Are Being Garnished?
A wage garnishment is already stressful enough in terms of how it will affect your financial situation. It can also cause shame and stress about being able to provide for your family. Because your employer will need to be notified about your wage garnishment, you may be wondering how it can impact your job as well. The good news is that your employer can’t fire you for receiving notice of a single wage garnishment. However, if your employer receives a second notice of garnishment in a 12-month period, you can legally be terminated. Therefore, if you are facing a wage garnishment in Las Vegas or Reno, Nevada, please contact our Nevada Bankruptcy Attorneys for assistance with your garnishment.
Why Is The Balance Of My Wage Garnishment So High?
Many people who struggle with debt don’t know the exact balances of all of their outstanding accounts. So when it finally gets to the point where your employer has received a wage garnishment notice, you might not even be familiar with the figure that you now need to pay. It is probably much higher than the debt you originally owed. Your creditor is allowed to add attorney’s fees, or the cost of pursuing you for debt repayment, to your balance. There has also been interest accruing on your debt as long as you have been failing to make payments, which will continue to accrue even as your wage garnishment is in effect. Depending on the size of your debt and your income, you might actually be making negative progress on your garnishment, or accruing more interest than you are paying off. If so, you should discuss your situation with an experienced Las Vegas bankruptcy attorney.
I Just Received a Notice Of Wage Garnishment: How Quickly Can You Get Me Filed?
Our Las Vegas bankruptcy team is experienced in skeleton bankruptcy filings, also known as emergency bankruptcy filings. These are meant for people who are about to face a creditor collection action like a garnishment or a repossession. It allows you to get your case filed much faster, and therefore receive the protections from the automatic stay sooner. You will only need to submit limited information and your first credit counseling course completion certificate. You will have 12 days after filing your skeleton petition to file the rest of your bankruptcy petition with the court. Our Las Vegas and Reno bankruptcy team will make sure that both filings are executed correctly, so there are no delays or gaps in the protections from the automatic stay in your case.
Contact Our Professional Las Vegas Bankruptcy Team To File Your Bankruptcy Quickly & Correctly
Our Las Vegas bankruptcy lawyers are familiar with working on a deadline, because many of our clients come to us with an upcoming wage garnishment. Whether you need a standard or emergency filing, Chapter 7 Bankruptcy or Chapter 13 Bankruptcy, our staff and Vegas Bankruptcy attorneys are equipped to help. Additionally, our Las Vegas and Reno Bankruptcy Attorneys also offer competitive rates with payment plans designed to make filing bankruptcy more accessible to Las Vegas and Reno residents. To learn more, call or use our online form to request your free consultation.
Additionally, we offer free confidential bankruptcy consultations with our experienced Nevada bankruptcy lawyers. Plus, our Nevada bankruptcy law firm offers a $0 Down Bankruptcy filing option for residents of Las Vegas, Reno, Clark County, and throughout Nevada.
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