The process of wage garnishment begins when a creditor files a lawsuit against you. A court-ordered judgment can allow them to recover the unpaid debts directly from your wages. But you can stop the wage garnishment in some instances.
You can either stop garnishment through an initial summon or challenge it later after a default judgment has already been issued. The procedure varies depending on your circumstances and the stage you decide to take the intervention. But with the help of the Oklahoma City bankruptcy attorneys, you can navigate these complexities with ease.
Can Challenging a Wage Garnishment Order Stop It From Being Executed?
Once a judgment is reached in court, the judge might order wage garnishment to help the creditor recover their money. The documentation is usually sent to your employer for execution, while you receive a copy of the procedure on how to challenge the order.
Challenging the order can stop your employer from applying it, but you have to do it fast. If you delay and the required timeline lapses, your employer will have no choice but to garnish your wages.
What Happens if I Miss the Time Frame for Challenging a Claim?
The form for “Claim for Exemption and Request for Hearing” usually comes with the garnishment order sent to your employer, and you only have five days to respond. If you miss the deadline for whatever reason, you can still request the hearing, but under a different arrangement.
Instead of filing a claim, you will file a motion. You wouldn’t pay any fee if you filed the claim within the 5-day timeline. But a motion afterward will require you to pay a filing fee for the court to grant you an exemption hearing in Oklahoma.
What is the Wage Garnishment Limit in Oklahoma?
Creditors like credit card companies and hospitals usually deduct up to 25% of your take-home income in Oklahoma. However, this is allowed only if your remaining income is not less than $217.50 per week.
Similarly, if you can prove that your family expenses consume all of the income you earn currently, the court can exempt you from wage garnishment. Basically, nothing is cast on stone, and you can convince the jury to stop garnishment with an excellent and justifiable argument through your wage garnishment layer in OKC.
What Does It Take to Get Relief for Undue Hardship?
If a wage garnishment will leave you struggling to take care of your basic needs and that of your family, consider filing the hardship claim form. You might have to include information such as:
- the number of children in your household
- the number of family members in your household
- the garnishment amount
- the name of the creditor(s)
- the case number
- the balances of all your bank accounts
- a breakdown of your income and expenses
The debtor is required to mail a copy of the form to the court and another one to the creditor or their attorney. After that, you could receive communication regarding the date and time for the hearing. Remember to carry all the proofs of earnings and expenses.
What is the Possible Outcome of an Exemption Hearing?
If you can convince the judge of the hardship you are experiencing, they might decide to either withhold a smaller amount or stop garnishment for a certain period. It could be 180 days, which is renewable if you will still be experiencing a similar hardship after it expires.
Additionally, you might get a refund of some or all of the garnishment withheld for the last 30 days before you filed. Debtors require a seasoned and experienced attorney to help them convince the judge that they deserve such a refund.
Can I Stop Wage Garnishment in Oklahoma Through Negotiations?
Sometimes, a lumpsum wage garnishment might be unfavorable for you. This is especially true if your monthly income cannot cover your living expenses if the money is deducted all at once. Negotiating for better terms can stop a wage garnishment.
For instance, you can agree on a payment plan that will not expose you and your family to undue hardship. You might be allowed to pay back in installments over a more extended period instead of one lump sum. A wage garnishment attorney in Oklahoma City can negotiate on your behalf.
Can a Bankruptcy Motion Stop Wage Garnishment in Oklahoma?
Wage garnishment is a bit more bearable if you don’t have so many debts. But if you are deeply buried in debt and anticipate more debtors coming to file a wage garnishment against you, you may want to file for bankruptcy.
As soon as you file, you receive protection through the automatic stay. Wage garnishment is likely to stop shortly after your bankruptcy petition is received. A wage garnishment attorney in Oklahoma can advise you on whether to consider Chapter 7 or Chapter 11 bankruptcy.
Does Filing For Bankruptcy Stop all Types of Garnishment in OKC?
The automatic stay is a great tool to stop further garnishing, but there are exceptions. While most creditors will be barred from any further collection, alimony and child support will continue being deducted from your wages.
If the primary goal for filing for bankruptcy was to get relief from the alimony and child support payments, then going ahead might be a waste of time and resources. Make sure that you seek the counsel of an Oklahoma City wage garnishment attorney before making major legal decisions.
Compassionate Legal Professionals Helping Clients Seek Financial Relief
If wage garnishment is already burdening you or is likely to give you hardship, you can take steps towards stopping it. Whatever avenue you choose will depend on your unique situation and may not apply to the exempted garnishments.
Bankruptcy also offers excellent relief but may not apply in every circumstance. Debtors who are unsure whether and how to stop deductions on their income should consult with an attorney early enough. Consider discussing your financial difficulties with Oklahoma City bankruptcy attorneys at Mitchell & Hammond to get the best advice on the most appropriate kind of relief for your specific case.