Lancaster Wage Garnishment Lawyers
If a creditor has filed a lawsuit against you and obtained a judgment, they may attempt to garnish your wages as part of their collection efforts. Wage garnishment is legal in California. But there are a number of steps you can take to protect yourself.
Your first step should be to contact a qualified Lancaster wage garnishment lawyer. Wadhwani & Shanfeld is a law firm that specializes in providing bankruptcy and debt relief services to residents of southern California. We can advise you on how to fight wage garnishment and represent you in dealing with a creditor that is seeking to collect a debt from you.
How Much Can a Creditor Take Through Wage Garnishment in California?
The first thing you should know about wage garnishment is that a judgment creditor cannot simply take your entire paycheck. Under federal law, a judgment creditor cannot garnish more than 25 percent of your “disposable earnings,” which means your gross wages less any mandatory deductions for taxes. California law further limits wage garnishment to either 2r percent of disposable earnings or 50 percent of the amount that your weekly disposable income exceeds 40 times the applicable state or local minimum wage. And you may be able to exempt wages above these limits from garnishment if you can show you need the money to support you and your family.
It is also important to note there are different rules that apply to wage garnishment related to certain kinds of debts. For example, if you default on a federal student loan, the lender can garnish up to 15 percent of your pay, subject to certain limits. And if you owe back child support, you are subject to wage garnishment without a separate court order.
So if you are currently facing wage garnishment–or suspect garnishment is imminent–our attorneys can advise you on one of several options for seeking relief, such as:
- Fighting the Judgment: In many cases, creditors obtain “default judgments” against creditors who were never properly notified of a lawsuit against them. If you can prove you never received notice or there was some other defect in the creditor’s judgment, you can fight it in court. While this will not wipe out your debt, it can buy you time.
- Negotiate with the Creditor: Many creditors and collection agencies are willing to negotiate a settlement–even for less than the full amount owed–to avoid the time and expense of wage garnishment.
- Seek an Exemption: As noted above, if you can prove that wage garnishment would leave you without enough money to meet your family’s basic living expenses, you can file for a wage garnishment exemption.
Contact Wadhwani & Shanfeld Today
Wage garnishment is a scary prospect for many Los Angeles County residents who are already struggling to make ends meet. But you do not have to accept a potential garnishment order without taking action. Your first step should be to speak with a skilled Lancaster wage garnishment lawyer. Contact Wadhwani & Shanfeld today to schedule an initial consultation.