Wage Garnishment Attorney in Pasadena, California
Wage garnishment might be a procedure you’ve heard of or are quite familiar with. In case it is your first time to encounter this term, wage garnishment is defined as the legal procedure of having an employee’s earnings withheld by their employer in order to pay off outstanding balance. The Consumer Credit Protection Act bars employers from dismissing employees who have earnings subject to garnishment.
Withheld wages are used to pay debts including child support, student loans, and personal loans to name a few. Garnishment is considered a pretty serious consequence and is only considered when the employee is behind on all their debts.
The legal processes involved in wage garnishment can be quite a complicated road to take, which is why if you find yourself in the middle of a wage garnishment issue, it is best to consult with a wage garnishment attorney in Pasadena who can help straighten out any concerns.
What is Wage Garnishment?
As previously defined, wage garnishment is when the court orders your employers to withhold your wages in order to pay for your debts. Garnishment is ordered upon an individual who has been lagging behind on their debts, causing their balance to accumulate. Among the debts one can repay through wage garnishment include:
- Personal loans
- Student loans
- Child support
- Court case judgements
- Property damage
- Back taxes
Garnishment laws vary from state to state and in California, the state law limits the amount creditors can garnish to pay off your debts. Federal law places a limit of 25% of an individual’s disposable income or the amount by which an employee’s income that week exceeds 30 times the hourly wage. California law considers the state minimum wage and a different multiplier which when halved results in a lesser garnished amount.
Until the debt is cleared and paid off, the creditor will continue garnishing your wages. The garnishing can also be curbed if you take measures to stop the garnishment such as exemptions. Filing for bankruptcy is one way to stop wage garnishment.
Each state has its own set of laws regarding wage garnishment and California is no different. If you are dealing with wage garnishment and bankruptcy matters, consult with a Pasadena, California wage garnishment attorney to help you with your next step, be it filing for bankruptcy or claiming an exemption.
What are the State’s Wage Garnishment Limits?
The state of California has its own set of rules for wage garnishment. These are the state’s particular guidelines for wage garnishment:
- 25% of the employee’s income that week
- 50% of the amount by which weekly disposable earnings exceed 40 times the minimum wage. Disposable income is defined as the amount paid to the employee after the employer takes out the law-required deductions.
California law also states that the portion of the judgment debtor’s earnings which is deemed necessary for supporting both the debtor, their families is exempt from levy.
How Does Wage Garnishment Work?
Even if debtors are trailing behind on their credits, a hearing is still required prior to garnishment taking effect. Debtors are notified of the hearing’s details and during the hearings, the creditor must be able to prove that the debtor owes money and has been failing in consistently paying their dues.
Once the court has decided that the debtor is indeed at fault and the creditor’s evidence is credible, it will issue an order to require the employer to withhold a particular amount of the debtor’s wages which will then go to whatever area the debtor needs to pay off. These usually come with a letter and particular instructions.
Caught in the middle of a confusing wage garnishment situation in California? Fear not. Pasadena wage garnishment attorneys can explain the legal proceedings and help represent you when you need it. You don’t need to figure out the whole process alone.
How Does One Avoid Wage Garnishment?
The first and foremost way to avoid wage garnishment is to stay updated and catch up on your debt. Since this isn’t always doable, the next best step is to contact your creditors If you have student loans, you can always get in touch with student loan administrators for any advice on how to counter wage garnishment.
If you are being garnished for child support, there is a process called modification which takes into consideration the parent’s particular financial situation and makes necessary adjustments in order for child support to still be paid without totally emptying the debtor. The IRS also has schedules for structured payments that can help you repay your taxes. Additionally, debtors can talk to some banks for affordable payment agreements.
There is always the option to file for bankruptcy which will then stop wage garnishment. Bankruptcy petitions put a halt to all debt collection except for non-dischargeable debts such as child support, alimony, or taxes. Should you be unable to attend the garnishment hearing and the garnishment process has already taken effect, ask for a copy of the court order to review the garnishment order.
If all these seem overwhelming, contact a wage garnishment attorney in Pasadena to straighten out any confusing matters. Court orders can be quite confusing, especially if the whole system is new to you. Don’t get too caught up and lost, stay informed and alert. Reach out to a Pasadena wage garnishment attorney immediately.
Should I Seek An Attorney’s Help for Wage Garnishment?
If your wages are already dwindling and you are drowning in debt, it might seem counterintuitive to seek legal advice. However, it depends on the situation. If you don’t owe the debt, or if the legal fees are too high then it might not be the best move. However, if you are seeking to file bankruptcy in order to stop the garnishment, getting legal advice from an attorney is highly recommended. Seeking help from a seasoned legal professional is also necessary if your employer is threatening to fire you due to your debts or if a creditor is trying to get around the wage exemption by garnishing a bank account.
Seek Legal Advice from a Wage Garnishment Attorney
If you are dealing with wage garnishment, seeking to file bankruptcy to halt the garnishment, or are dealing with debt, the smartest move is to seek legal assistance. A seasoned wage garnishment attorney can explain matters to you and help you make the smartest, most practical move to settle debt concerns. Contact the wage garnishment attorney at Pasadena Bankruptcy Law at 626-296-6971. You shouldn’t have to face this scenario alone. Get legal assistance on your side by scheduling an appointment right now.