Preventing Wage Garnishment
There are many reasons you can find your wages garnished, such as unpaid back taxes, unpaid debts to a creditor, or child support payments. Typically the creditor will make attempts to come to a payment agreement and a wage garnishment is usually the final step, one that you should try to avoid at all costs. Additionally, in order to obtain a wage garnishment against you, the creditor must go to court and your employer must receive a notice of the garnishment.
You should look to avoid having your wages garnished at all costs, if possible. When a creditor sends you collection notices or phone calls you want to respond to the notices. Making payment arrangements with your creditors is one of the best ways to prevent your wages being garnished. A creditor will likely not garnish your wages until it becomes the last resort for collection.
Making payment arrangements as a way to settle the debt is one of best ways to prevent a garnishment. Many times a creditor will be willing to work with you to address the debt as it is easier and less expensive for the creditor to work out a payment arrangement than to go to the expense of the wage garnishment. If you owe child support or alimony, make arrangements with the parent to whom you are making the payments and attempt a mutually satisfactory payment agreement. Make certain that once you’ve made the arrangement that you stick to it so that it doesn’t escalate.
Owing money to the IRS is something to avoid and one way to do this is to file your taxes on time. If it comes to the point where you owe the IRS more money than you can afford to pay at the time they’re owed, you will want to talk with an IRS agent and get on an installment plan for payments. Be advised though that the IRS takes these arrangements seriously and if you miss payments they will pursue legal action and garnish your wages.
In extreme cases, some individuals will opt to file bankruptcy as a way to avoid a wage garnishment. Filing bankruptcy should be the last resort. But if it you find you are truly drowning in debt you might want to seek legal counsel and discuss your bankruptcy options as both a way to wipe the slate clean and avoid wage garnishment.