Wage Garnishment Attorney Serving Los Angeles and Orange County, California

The bankruptcy process brings a lot of uncertainty. For most people, the prospect of losing their assets — be it through wage garnishment, the seizing of their bank account, or having their belongings repossessed — is quite scary.

If you are struggling with debt and are facing the prospect of wage garnishment, call our experienced team at The Orantes Law Firm. We are ready to negotiate with your creditors on your behalf, stop wage garnishment before it starts, or advise you of your other options for getting out from under crippling debt. If you are facing wage garnishment, call us at The Orantes Law Firm for a free consultation. We serve clients all throughout Los Angeles and Orange County.

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What is Wage Garnishment?

Wage garnishment is an order from a court or government agency that applies to the employer of a debtor and forces the employer to withhold a certain percentage or amount from the debtor’s paycheck and send the funds directly to the creditor. Wage garnishment is meant for debtors who are unwilling or unable to pay creditors. Some of the more common debts that typically lead to wage garnishment include the following:

  • Credit Card Debt

  • Student Loan Debt

  • Tax Debt & Tax Levies

  • Unpaid Child Support

California Law & Wage Garnishment

In California, there are two main legal standards for wage garnishment. The first is the Consumer Credit Protection Act (CCPA). Specifically, Title III of the CCPA concerns the wage garnishment process. Title III restricts the amount of earnings that can be garnished to 25% of disposable weekly income after mandatory deductions for taxes or the amount by which disposable earnings are greater than 40 times the minimum wage. Title III ended the practice of creditors taking a high percentage of wages to pay outstanding debt, but it does allow up to 50% or 60% garnishment for past-due taxes and child support.

California’s wage garnishment laws follow a similar pattern. State law outlines the various guidelines for both creditors and debtors. Much like federal law, California law holds that the most that can be garnished from your wages is the lesser of:

  • 25% of your disposable earnings for that week

  • 50% of the amount by which your weekly disposable earnings exceed 40 times the state hourly minimum wage

If a debtor works in a location where the local minimum hourly wage is greater than the state minimum hourly wage, the local minimum hourly wage in effect at the time the earnings are payable is used for the calculation.

Your Options to Stop Wage Garnishment

It may not feel like it, but you do have options when it comes to stopping the garnishing of your wages. This is where our experienced staff at Orantes Law Firm is ready to step in and lead you in the right direction.

In many cases, the best method for stopping wage garnishment is filing for bankruptcy. When you file for bankruptcy, the court imposes an automatic stay that stops the following:

  • Creditor harassment

  • Collection lawsuits

  • Wage garnishment

  • Repossession

  • Foreclosure

  • Eviction proceedings

If you file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, the automatic stay will not affect garnishments for payment of child support or alimony but it will stop all other types.

In a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, the automatic stay will stop all wage garnishment, although you will be required to continue making payments toward your debt. However, if you have a history of abusing the bankruptcy system, you may be ruled ineligible for the automatic stay.

Wage Garnishment Attorney Serving Los Angeles & Orange County, California

If you are struggling with debt and facing wage garnishment or other aggressive debt collection efforts, our team at The Orantes Law Firm will fight to protect your livelihood. We take pride in serving our clients throughout the greater Los Angeles and Orange County areas. Contact us today by calling our office or visiting our website to schedule a free consultation.