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San Leandro Wage Garnishment Lawyer

Debt can be a vicious cycle. Credit card spending or unpaid bills can lead to unpleasant creditor harassment. After a period of time, creditors may file a debt collection lawsuit and be awarded a judgment, which they can use to obtain a wage garnishment. Once your wages are garnished, you will have less money to pay other creditors or other bills, leading to more debt.

It is important to do something to stop this cycle and prevent wage garnishment; however, many debtors in San Leandro are not aware of what actions are available to them. Filing for bankruptcy is one option that can stop a wage garnishment in its tracks.

Bankruptcy and Wage Garnishment

Most people are aware that filing for bankruptcy can help them get rid of debt, but filing for bankruptcy can also help by protecting debtors from adverse and aggressive creditor actions. This is because every debtor who files for bankruptcy receives the protection of bankruptcy’s automatic stay.

The automatic stay is court order that can stop a wage garnishment. The automatic stay can also stop other creditor activity, such as:

  • Debt collection lawsuits;
  • Foreclosure proceedings;
  • Repossessions;
  • Evictions;
  • Creditor harassment; and
  • Utility disconnections.

Regardless of whether you file for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 Bankruptcy, the automatic stay takes effect immediately upon filing.

What Happens if a Creditor Violates the Automatic Stay?

If a creditor violates the automatic stay and attempts to proceed with a wage garnishment, they can be liable for any actual damages that they debtor might suffer. Under Section 362 of the bankruptcy code, a creditor who willfully violates the automatic stay may also be liable for attorney’s fees and punitive damages.

Lifting the Automatic Stay

In general, the automatic stay will remain in effect for the duration of the bankruptcy proceedings. In a Chapter 7 case, this may be three to six months. However, in a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy case, the automatic stay can remain in effect for up to five years. This protection can give residents of San Leandro the time they need to get back on their feet for a fresh financial start.

It is important to note that a creditor may petition the bankruptcy court to lift the automatic stay. A court is most likely to grant a motion to lift the automatic stay if the debt is a debt that will not be discharged in bankruptcy. For example, courts commonly lift the automatic stay for to allow wage garnishment for child support obligations or spousal support. However, the bankruptcy court is unlikely to lift the automatic stay if the debt is dischargeable in bankruptcy and there are no extenuating circumstances, such as fraud on the part of the debtor.

Contact the Law Offices of Melanie Tavare

If you are afraid that a creditor may garnish your wages – or if a creditor has already garnished your wages – bankruptcy may be able to help. The Law Offices of Melanie Tavare is proud to serve residents of San Leandro and the surrounding communities. We have experience helping debtors stop wage garnishment proceedings by filing for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 Bankruptcy in California. If you are interested in learning whether bankruptcy is the right choice for you, contact us online or call us at 510-255-4646.

The Law Offices of Melanie Tavare is a debt relief agency. We help people file for bankruptcy relief under the Bankruptcy Code.

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"Melanie is the best she very responsive and helpful throughout the process everything was taken care of smoothly. If you are thinking of going through bankruptcy she is the best attorney for you. I will forever be grateful having the chance to work with her. She is very honest too."


"I can't thank Melanie enough for helping me through a challenging process and doing so with incredible knowledge, professionalism and tenacity! She went to great lengths to keep me informed, she responded quickly to my questions, and communicated in terms that I could understand. I highly recommend getting in touch with Melanie should you have the need."


"Choosing to work with Atty. Melanie has been one of the best decisions I've ever made. She was a very patient professional to work with and attentive while providing valuable solutions to all of my concerns. If you are searching for of an Attorney who is knowledgeable, transparent, and diligent - well that's Atty. Melanie."


"What I liked about working with Melanie was how prompt and easy to work with she was. She made the process clear and understandable with as little stress as possible. I would work with her again and recommend her to others."