Written by Canterbury Law Group

Can Bankruptcy Stop Wage Garnishment?

Can Bankruptcy Stop Wage Garnishment?

Yes, filing for bankruptcy can often stop wage garnishment. When you file for bankruptcy, an automatic stay goes into effect, which immediately stops most creditors from continuing collection efforts, including wage garnishment. The automatic stay prohibits creditors from pursuing or continuing with collection actions, including wage garnishment, lawsuits, foreclosure, repossession, and harassing phone calls.

Here’s how bankruptcy affects wage garnishment under each chapter:

  1. Chapter 7 Bankruptcy: In Chapter 7 bankruptcy, the automatic stay stops wage garnishment as soon as the bankruptcy case is filed. However, if the wage garnishment is for certain types of debts, such as child support, alimony, or certain taxes, it may continue even after filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy.
  2. Chapter 13 Bankruptcy: In Chapter 13 bankruptcy, the automatic stay also stops wage garnishment immediately upon filing. Additionally, Chapter 13 bankruptcy allows debtors to propose a repayment plan to catch up on past due debts, including those subject to wage garnishment, over a three to five-year period. As long as the debtor makes timely payments under the Chapter 13 plan, wage garnishment will be halted.

It’s important to note that while bankruptcy can stop wage garnishment, it may not eliminate the underlying debt. Certain types of debts, such as child support, alimony, student loans, and some taxes, are generally not dischargeable in bankruptcy and may continue to be collected even after filing.

Additionally, filing for bankruptcy has long-term financial consequences and should be carefully considered. It’s advisable to consult with a bankruptcy attorney to discuss your specific financial situation, understand your options, and determine whether bankruptcy is the right solution for you.

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