Bankruptcy & Garnishment - Stopping Garnishment of Your Wages and Bank Accounts Through Bankruptcy

by John Skiba
Contact

Many of the bankruptcy clients I have been meeting with lately are experiencing some type of garnishment. Garnishment of wages or bank accounts is an indicator to me that you have been dealing with debt issues for some time. Contrary to what many believe, a creditor cannot garnish your wages in Arizona unless they sue you and get a judgment against you first.

Garnishment Laws in Arizona

Under Arizona law a creditor that has obtained a judgment against you can take 25% of each of your paychecks and further can garnish your bank accounts, taking all but $300. Either of these scenarios is devastating to a family’s finances. And in fact, a wage garnishment is usually the last event that pushes someone from thinking of filing bankruptcy to making that appointment with a bankruptcy attorney to discuss when to file the bankruptcy case.

Garnishment of Wages

The typical process when it comes to a wage garnishment is that your employer will be served with a legal document known as a “Writ of Garnishment.” This document instructs your employer that they need to submit a response to let your creditor know if you work there and how much your pay is. Further, your employer is told that they need to start withholding 25% of each of your paychecks to pay to the creditor.

You should also be provided a copy of the Writ of Garnishment and you do have a short period of time where you can submit a written response to the court as to why you feel the garnishment is not valid. You can also ask for a hearing before the court to get the amount of each check reduced. It is my experience that by simply asking most judges will reduce the garnishment from 25% down to 15%.

If you are looking to file bankruptcy to stop the garnishment then as soon as you receive notice of the garnishment you should meet with an Arizona bankruptcy attorney to discuss your options. I frequently work with clients to quickly put together their bankruptcy case so that we can get it filed with the bankruptcy court prior to the first garnishing of a paycheck occurs.

Immediately upon the filing of your bankruptcy case the bankruptcy court issues an order called the “Automatic Stay.” This order stops all collection efforts against you and will stop the garnishment immediately.

Garnishment of Bank Accounts

When we think of garnishment we often think only of wages being garnished. However, if the creditor who has a judgment against you knows where you bank, they can obtain a Writ of Garnishment to take the money out of your checking account. How would they know where you bank? Well, most of us pay our bills with checks, and your creditors keep track of information like the bank, checking account number, routing numbers, and all other information that is right there on your check.

It is important to note that your creditor only needs to know what bank you do your banking at (i.e. Wells Fargo, Chase, Bank of America, etc.), not what your account number is or what particular branch you go to. They can serve the Writ of Garnishment on your bank and if you are single they can take all but $150 and if you are married they can take all of your money but $300.

One quick note, if you receive social security into your banking account and it gets garnished, it is important to object to the garnishment as social security funds are exempt (or protected) funds.

Like with the wage garnishment above, a bankruptcy filing will stop the garnishment of your bank accounts immediately.

I offer a free consultation where we can discuss your specific situation and put a plan together to stop any garnishment you may be experiencing.

Arizona bankruptcy attorney John Skiba can be reached at (480) 420-4028 or via email at john@skibalaw.com.

LOADING PDF: If there are any problems, click here to download the file.

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

© John Skiba, Arizona Consumer Law Group, PLC | Attorney Advertising

Written by:

John Skiba
Contact
more
less

Arizona Consumer Law Group, PLC on:

Readers' Choice 2017
Reporters on Deadline

"My best business intelligence, in one easy email…"

Your first step to building a free, personalized, morning email brief covering pertinent authors and topics on JD Supra:
Sign up using*

Already signed up? Log in here

*By using the service, you signify your acceptance of JD Supra's Privacy Policy.
Privacy Policy (Updated: October 8, 2015):
hide

JD Supra provides users with access to its legal industry publishing services (the "Service") through its website (the "Website") as well as through other sources. Our policies with regard to data collection and use of personal information of users of the Service, regardless of the manner in which users access the Service, and visitors to the Website are set forth in this statement ("Policy"). By using the Service, you signify your acceptance of this Policy.

Information Collection and Use by JD Supra

JD Supra collects users' names, companies, titles, e-mail address and industry. JD Supra also tracks the pages that users visit, logs IP addresses and aggregates non-personally identifiable user data and browser type. This data is gathered using cookies and other technologies.

The information and data collected is used to authenticate users and to send notifications relating to the Service, including email alerts to which users have subscribed; to manage the Service and Website, to improve the Service and to customize the user's experience. This information is also provided to the authors of the content to give them insight into their readership and help them to improve their content, so that it is most useful for our users.

JD Supra does not sell, rent or otherwise provide your details to third parties, other than to the authors of the content on JD Supra.

If you prefer not to enable cookies, you may change your browser settings to disable cookies; however, please note that rejecting cookies while visiting the Website may result in certain parts of the Website not operating correctly or as efficiently as if cookies were allowed.

Email Choice/Opt-out

Users who opt in to receive emails may choose to no longer receive e-mail updates and newsletters by selecting the "opt-out of future email" option in the email they receive from JD Supra or in their JD Supra account management screen.

Security

JD Supra takes reasonable precautions to insure that user information is kept private. We restrict access to user information to those individuals who reasonably need access to perform their job functions, such as our third party email service, customer service personnel and technical staff. However, please note that no method of transmitting or storing data is completely secure and we cannot guarantee the security of user information. Unauthorized entry or use, hardware or software failure, and other factors may compromise the security of user information at any time.

If you have reason to believe that your interaction with us is no longer secure, you must immediately notify us of the problem by contacting us at info@jdsupra.com. In the unlikely event that we believe that the security of your user information in our possession or control may have been compromised, we may seek to notify you of that development and, if so, will endeavor to do so as promptly as practicable under the circumstances.

Sharing and Disclosure of Information JD Supra Collects

Except as otherwise described in this privacy statement, JD Supra will not disclose personal information to any third party unless we believe that disclosure is necessary to: (1) comply with applicable laws; (2) respond to governmental inquiries or requests; (3) comply with valid legal process; (4) protect the rights, privacy, safety or property of JD Supra, users of the Service, Website visitors or the public; (5) permit us to pursue available remedies or limit the damages that we may sustain; and (6) enforce our Terms & Conditions of Use.

In the event there is a change in the corporate structure of JD Supra such as, but not limited to, merger, consolidation, sale, liquidation or transfer of substantial assets, JD Supra may, in its sole discretion, transfer, sell or assign information collected on and through the Service to one or more affiliated or unaffiliated third parties.

Links to Other Websites

This Website and the Service may contain links to other websites. The operator of such other websites may collect information about you, including through cookies or other technologies. If you are using the Service through the Website and link to another site, you will leave the Website and this Policy will not apply to your use of and activity on those other sites. We encourage you to read the legal notices posted on those sites, including their privacy policies. We shall have no responsibility or liability for your visitation to, and the data collection and use practices of, such other sites. This Policy applies solely to the information collected in connection with your use of this Website and does not apply to any practices conducted offline or in connection with any other websites.

Changes in Our Privacy Policy

We reserve the right to change this Policy at any time. Please refer to the date at the top of this page to determine when this Policy was last revised. Any changes to our privacy policy will become effective upon posting of the revised policy on the Website. By continuing to use the Service or Website following such changes, you will be deemed to have agreed to such changes. If you do not agree with the terms of this Policy, as it may be amended from time to time, in whole or part, please do not continue using the Service or the Website.

Contacting JD Supra

If you have any questions about this privacy statement, the practices of this site, your dealings with this Web site, or if you would like to change any of the information you have provided to us, please contact us at: info@jdsupra.com.

- hide
*With LinkedIn, you don't need to create a separate login to manage your free JD Supra account, and we can make suggestions based on your needs and interests. We will not post anything on LinkedIn in your name. Or, sign up using your email address.
Feedback? Tell us what you think of the new jdsupra.com!