What you need to know about wage garnishment in bankruptcy

On Behalf of | Apr 5, 2022 | Bankruptcy |

For some California residents deep in debt, filing for bankruptcy might be the only option for relief. However, certain types of debt aren’t exempt from bankruptcy, which means you might have to deal with wage garnishment to pay them back. You may wonder if there are limits on garnishment.

What is wage garnishment?

Wage garnishment takes place when the court orders a person’s employer to withhold a portion of their paycheck to send that money directly to a party that is owed a debt. Garnishment normally takes place until the debt is paid in full.

What debts are subject to wage garnishment?

Certain types of debt are subject to wage garnishment. Those debts are the same ones that are not protected when a person files for bankruptcy. These debts are considered non-dischargeable debts. They include the following:

  • Child support
  • Alimony
  • Certain back taxes

What are the limits on wage garnishment?

Even if a creditor gains a judgment from the court to garnish a person’s wages, there are limits on what they can take. Federal law prohibits more than 25% of a person’s disposable income or the amount a person’s income exceeds 30 times the minimum wage to be taken, whichever is less.

How can you avoid wage garnishment?

It’s possible for a person to avoid wage garnishment by staying on top of their debts. Although that’s not always possible, a person can help their cause by contacting their creditors. Sometimes, creditors are willing to work with the individual to find a way for the debt to be paid. They are often open to repayment plans and might even forgive interest to make it easier to repay.