Experienced Attorney Helping Clients in Oklahoma City Stop Wage Garnishment
Many people in Oklahoma are living paycheck-to-paycheck. Every dollar you earn is precious, which is why it’s so devastating when a creditor decides to garnish your hard-earned wages in order to repay your debts.
A wage garnishment occurs when a creditor takes a portion of every one of your paychecks until the debt you owe them is paid in full. The money is automatically deducted from your paycheck before it ever hits your account, so you won’t have a chance to use it before it is sent to your creditor.
If a creditor is garnishing your wages, contact the wage garnishment attorneys at Mitchell & Hammond to learn how to protect your paychecks. With our help, you can put an end to wage garnishment.
When Can Creditors Garnish Your Wages?
Most creditors in Oklahoma cannot garnish your wages without obtaining the court’s approval first. For example, a credit card company cannot start deducting money from your paycheck unless a court has given them permission to do so.
But there are some exceptions to this rule. Your wages can be garnished without a court’s approval for certain debts, including:
- Unpaid taxes
- Child support
Regardless of whether or not a court order is needed, creditors must comply with certain rules that limit the amount they are allowed to garnish per paycheck. In Oklahoma, creditors can take the lesser of 25% of your earnings or the difference between your earnings and 30 times the federal minimum wage.
How Filing For Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Can Stop Wage Garnishment in Oklahoma City
If you file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, an automatic stay will temporarily prevent your creditors from collecting debts. This means creditors will not be able to garnish your wages while the automatic stay is in effect. The automatic stay will remain in effect until the end of your case when eligible debts are discharged. If the wage garnishment was related to a dischargeable debt, it will not resume once the bankruptcy case is closed since the debt will be discharged at this time. If the garnishment was related to a non-dischargeable debt, it will resume once the case has been closed.
The automatic stay will not stop all forms of wage garnishment. If you have child support or alimony debts, for example, filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy will not stop wage garnishment.
How Filing For Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Can Stop Wage Garnishment in Oklahoma City
Filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy will also trigger the automatic stay. If you file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy, the automatic stay will remain in effect until the repayment plan has ended, which is usually between three to five years.
Wage garnishments related to dischargeable debts such as credit card debts, personal loans, and medical bills will stop once the automatic stay is in effect. The remaining balances on these debts are discharged at the end of your case, so the wage garnishments will not resume once your case has been closed.
Wage garnishments related to certain non-dischargeable debts may be temporarily put on hold until you have completed your repayment plan. These debts will not be discharged at the end of your repayment plan, which means the wage garnishments will continue once the case has been closed. In addition, creditors may charge additional fees to penalize you for not making payments during the three to five years you were protected by the automatic stay.
Creditors with non-dischargeable debts may ask the court to lift the automatic stay and allow them to continue garnishing your wages after you have filed for Chapter 13 bankruptcy. However, the court rarely grants this type of request in Chapter 13 cases.
Can You Recover Garnished Wages?
It may be possible to recover some garnished wages after filing for bankruptcy. However, it’s only possible to recover wages that were garnished within the 90-day period before you filed for bankruptcy. An attorney can help you fight to reclaim some or all of these wages after you have filed for bankruptcy.
Schedule A Free Consultation to Find Out How to Stop Wage Garnishment Immediately
If your wages are being garnished by creditors, seek legal representation from the experienced bankruptcy attorneys at Mitchell & Hammond. We know how hard you work to earn money, which is why we are committed to protecting your wages. Let us review the details of your case to determine the most effective way to stop wage garnishment. To schedule a free consultation, call Mitchell & Hammond at 405-216-0007 or submit your information via the form on this website.