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WHAT YOUR BANKRUPTCY ATTORNEY WILL NEED TO STOP A GARNISHMENT

Given the declining economy and subsequent rise in consumer debt defaults, creditors have become more aggressive in their collection attempts.  This usually leads to legal action, and eventually wage or bank account garnishment.  While a bankruptcy filing will stop or “stay” a garnishment, your bankruptcy attorney will need additional information in order to prepare your case and prevent the garnishment from continuing.

  • If your wages are being garnished, it will be because your employer has received a “summons of continuing garnishment”, directing them to forward a portion of your pay to the court that issued the garnishment.  However, keep in mind that the court that issued the garnishment may not be the same one that issued the original judgment.  So even if you have a copy of the original judgment, that is usually not sufficient to allow the bankruptcy court to stop the garnishment.
  • While you may have received a copy of the garnishment yourself, many times it will not have the same information on the garnishment submitted to your employer.  For instance, your copy may not have the case numbers which are necessary to stop the garnishment.  Your payroll contact should be able to provide a copy to you.
  • If your bank account has been garnished or “frozen”, your bank should be in possession of a similar garnishment or “attachment” order.  You will want to request a copy of that order from your bank.  Unfortunately, most bank account garnishments are submitted to bank branches in the Atlanta area, so your local branch may not have it immediately available.
  • Remember that time is critical, as the longer the garnishment persists, the more money that will be lost.  In most cases, a prompt bankruptcy filing will prevent all money that has been frozen in a bank account from being forwarded to the judgment creditor.
  • Likewise, a bankruptcy filing may allow a person to not only stop the garnishment of their wages, but also to recover garnishments from the previous 1-3 pay periods.