Wage Garnishment Attorney in McAllen, Texas
If you've ever faced financial troubles, you know how hard it can be to keep your head above water and try to get out of the debt you owe. What can make this process even more complicated is when your wages are garnished to pay off these debts. Wage garnishment can be a crippling blow to those who are just trying to do their best with their debt obligations. Fortunately, in some cases, you may be able to file for an exemption.
If you’re interested in learning more about how to stop wage garnishment and are in the McAllen, Texas area, give us a call today to discuss your options. At Oliva Law Bankruptcy, we can help individuals throughout the Rio Grande Valley, including Laredo and Corpus Christi.
Understanding Wage Garnishment
Wage garnishment occurs when a creditor obtains a court order to take money directly from an individual’s paycheck to pay off past-due debts. Each state sets its own laws for what debts are eligible for garnishment. This can range from consumer debt like credit cards or car loans to alimony, child support, student loans, and state or federal taxes. In Texas, your wages cannot be garnished for consumer debt.
In general, the amount that can be taken from your paycheck is capped at 50% to 60% of your disposable earnings, meaning the amount you receive after your employer has made the required standard deductions. However, the amount taken depends on your other debt obligations.
For example, if you’re currently providing child or spousal support for someone, your wages can only be garnished up to 50%. If you don’t have these debt obligations, this amount may increase to 60% of your wages. In some cases, an additional 5% can be taken if your debt is more than 12 weeks past due. If you’ve defaulted on a federal student loan, only 15% of your wages can be garnished to pay for this.
Laws Addressing Wage Garnishment
The Consumer Credit Protection Act (CCPA) limits how much of the employee’s earnings can be taken and protects employees from negative consequences from their employer. Since wage garnishment is additional work for the employer, this law protects employees from being fired if they have one garnishment in place. However, if there’s more than one garnishment, federal law does not protect the employee. Fortunately, Texas Law does provide some added protection for employees who are afraid they might be terminated because they have multiple garnishments.
How to Stop Wage Garnishment
If you feel your wage garnishment is unfair or unreasonable, you can fight it by filing an exemption claim with the courts. This may cause the garnishment to be stopped, but it may also offer you an opportunity to negotiate a payment plan.
Another option to stop wage garnishment is to file for bankruptcy. When you file for bankruptcy, an automatic stay will be issued, stopping all debt collections, including wage garnishments. Our firm can advise you on how to eliminate the underlying debt or create a repayment plan that is within your financial means.
Wage Garnishment Attorney Serving
It’s natural to feel overwhelmed in the face of mounting debt. If you’re concerned about current or impending wage garnishment and want to know more about your options, contact us at Oliva Law Bankruptcy. We’re proud to serve individuals throughout the Rio Grande Valley and South Texas.