The facts about wage garnishments

If you owe a debt that you cannot pay in Louisiana and the creditor takes you to court to get a judgment against you, then the court can order you to pay the debt. If you do not pay it voluntarily, then the creditor may go back to the court and request the right to garnish your wages. This means taking a certain amount of money for every paycheck you receive until you pay off the debt.

This is a serious matter because the creditor can get an order to take a large chunk of your income. However, the law does offer you some protection. Your creditor cannot take all of your income to pay the debt. According to the Louisianan Federal Credit Union, a creditor may garnish 25% of your net pay. This is the money you receive after taxes.

Receiving a notice

Note that your creditor will have to send you a notice about the wage garnishment that outlines the amount of money you owe. It should also provide you with options you have that could help you prevent the garnishment. Typically, this includes paying the full amount you owe.

Dealing with your employer

You have no control over the situation once the court grants the garnishment request. The creditor can go directly through your employer to process the withholding receipt of the money.

Knowing your options

The main options you have to avoid a wage garnishment is to either pay the amount you owe in full or to go back to court. You will need to demonstrate to the court that you cannot afford your regular expenses if the garnishment occurs. Furthermore, you may have to prove that you qualify for an exemption.

Once the ball starts rolling on a wage garnishment, it can be difficult to stop. This is a good sign that your finances are getting out of control. It may be worth considering bankruptcy, which can also stop the garnishment.