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Wage Garnishments in Hayward

When wage garnishment occurs, this can cause a chain reaction. You may not be able to afford your other financial commitments, such as a mortgage payment or a car payment, or you may need your full wages in order to feed your family. Wage garnishment in Hayward can be the result of:

  • An outstanding judgment;
  • Unpaid income taxes;
  • Defaulted student loans; or
  • Child support arrears.

Sometimes, a debtor is totally unaware that they owe the underlying debt until their wages are actually garnished. In other cases, a debtor may be aware that they owe a debt, but need some time to be able to pay it. Filing for bankruptcy in Hayward can stop a wage garnishment in its tracks and potentially even wipe away the underlying debt that caused the wage garnishment in the first place.

Bankruptcy’s Automatic Stay

The automatic stay is a feature of bankruptcy that exists to protect debtors from creditors. When a debtor in Hayward files for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy or Chapter 13 Bankruptcy, the automatic stay goes into effect immediately and stops creditors from:

  • Sending letters or making phone calls in an attempt to collect a debt;
  • Filing a lawsuit;
  • Repossessing collateral for a debt;
  • Initiating or continuing with foreclosure proceedings; and
  • Garnishing wages.

With regard to wage garnishment, the automatic stay will stop wage garnishments that are already occurring, as well as new attempts by creditors to garnish wages. A debtor can potentially even recover wages that have been garnished within 90 days prior to the bankruptcy filing if those garnishments were in excess of $600 and the debtor was insolvent.

When is a Garnishment Not Stopped by the Automatic Stay?

It is important to note that a creditor can petition the bankruptcy court to lift the automatic stay. However, the creditor must have a valid reason, and the creditor’s simply wanting to resume garnishing wages will likely be insufficient.

Likewise, not all wage garnishments will be stopped by the automatic stay. Child support arrearages or failure to pay court-ordered child support are the most common examples of garnishments that are exempted from the automatic stay.

Lastly, if the garnishment is the result of a debt that is not discharged during the bankruptcy, the garnishment may resume again after the bankruptcy is over unless the debtor solves the underlying issue. Because of this, filing for bankruptcy may not be the right decision for everyone. An experienced bankruptcy lawyer in the Hayward area can advise you on whether bankruptcy is a good option for you.

Contact a Hayward Bankruptcy Attorney

The Law Offices of Melanie Tavare offer bankruptcy assistance to residents of Hayward and the surrounding areas. If your wages are being garnished or you are facing a garnishment in the future, we may be able to help. We will listen to the individual details of your financial situation and offer you advice on whether bankruptcy is the best option to help stop your wages from being garnished. Contact us online or call us at 510-255-4646 for a private consultation.

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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