As we had stated many times, when someone file Chapter 13 or Chapter 7 bankruptcy petition, any pending garnishment (except for child support) will stop immediately. It also control any funds seized after the date of your bankruptcy filing will be returned to you.
How about Judgment Entered Against You
State Court Judgments Can Result in Significant Seizure of Your Income
In most cases, wage garnishments arise from lawsuit judgments. There cannot be any wage garnishment in Nevada except child support and student loan without a judicial process. For everything else, a judicial process is required. The judicial process means you have be issued a summons along with a complaint for which you have a right to confront and appear in a court of law. Judgments come from lawsuits and after you lose or ignore lawsuits. For example, if a credit card company filed suit against you for non-payment and you did not answer, a default judgment would issue against you. These judgments do not disappear into thin air but stays and the judgment/creditor waits for an appropriate time to pounce against you just like cheetah in a jungle who wait endlessly to prey on the animals. If you were involved in litigation and lost, a judgment would issue against you. These judgments can be executed personally against you or your business, and the judgment creditors is watching your assets or searching for them and the appropriate moment to execute against these assets.
It is not surprising that our clients many times report that they were not even aware of a pending lawsuit, much less a judgment. This is possible as the judgment creditors might be a different entity than the original lender and this credit transactions has been sold and resold many times, and the final holder are entirely different people now. This type of unpleasant surprise happens more often than you might think. Sheriff’s deputies, who are responsible for serving the lawsuit, are permitted to leave the lawsuit with an adult who answers the door to your house. This is also called personal service in Nevada. We sometimes see cases where a spouse accepts service but fails to deliver the lawsuit papers to the named defendant. Also, these papers can get mixed up with lots of other papers and one just ignore them or do not understand the implication of these judicial papers. I had seen many many times the original papers and the client does not even know what kind of papers are they and their purpose.
Most of these cases revolve around credit card debt. As you may know, the cardholder agreement provides that payment disputes shall be referred to an arbitrator out of State, or that a specific court in another State shall be the venue for any collection lawsuit. These collections needs to be validated and usually requires 30 days time period. Defending a lawsuit is not an easy thing, it is expensive, time consuming, and basically you have no defenses other than the statutory time period, if you had used the money and is not paying it back to your creditors. Also, it is quite possible that the original paperwork may be lost or is not transferred to the current credit holder. If your creditor possesses an out of state judgment, it can “domesticate” the judgment in your home county. Once a judgment is domesticated here, you will be subject to wage garnishment, bank account levy and any other remedies otherwise available to a winning plaintiff here in Las Vegas.
Wage Ganishment Threatens 25% of Your Net Pay and Possibly Your Job
Once a judgment has been issued, your creditor can ask the local sheriff’s office for a summons for continuing garnishment and execution of judgment. Your employer will be served with this garnishment summons and ordered to withhold 25% of your after tax earnings. In addition, your employer may charge a handling fee for the extra paperwork involved with fulfilling the garnishment requirements.
Be aware that your employer cannot choose to ignore a summons of continuing garnishment. If your employer does not honor the summons, your employer will become responsible for payment of the entire debt.
As you might imagine, human resource and payroll coordinators for most employers find wage garnishments troublesome for a number of reasons. Firstly, your employer must expend time and effort to complete the paperwork associated with calculating and processing garnishment orders. Secondly, until the garnishment is paid in full or otherwise released, your employer has potential financial liability if there are errors with the paperwork. Finally, your credibility may be called into question as a defendant found liable for a judgment in a lawsuit. It would not be an understatement to conclude that your job might be at risk if you involve your employer in your personal business and wage garnishment.
Law Office of Malik Ahmad is experienced in these matters and can stop any pending garnishment no matter where you fall in the process. If you contact us before the pending lawsuit against you goes into default, we may be able to avoid a judgment from issuing. If a judgment has been issued, the judgment creditor’s right to seize your wages terminates the instant we file your bankruptcy case. Sometimes, money that has been seized can be returned to you or it can be used to pay non-dischargeable debt like taxes.
Summary Judgments and wage garnishments function as powerful tools used by creditors to seize your money. When we file your bankruptcy case, your creditors are powerless to take any action and they lose their right to seize your wages. You can file a bankruptcy at any point in the pre-judgment or judgment process to put an end to creditor action. Don’t wait until your wages are at risk – call the Law Office of Malik Ahmad at (702) 270-9100 as soon as you suspect any risk of wage garnishment.