If you have a large amount of unpaid debt, it’s possible that a creditor could attempt to garnish your wages. If they receive a legal judgment, a portion of your wages will be withheld and paid to the creditor until your debt is paid off.

Although the federal Consumer Credit Protection Act (CCPA) caps garnishments sought in federal court at 25 percent of your weekly disposable income, it will still impact your finances.

Fortunately, there are several ways to stop wage garnishment:

  • Work with your creditor: Rather than ignore your creditor in hopes that they go away, which won’t happen, work with them to create a plan for repaying the debt.
  • Fight it in court: If you don’t believe you owe the debt, for example, you can fight it in court. If successful, your debt will go away and you won’t have to concern yourself with wage garnishment.
  • File for bankruptcy: Upon doing so, an automatic stay will end your wage garnishment. However, keep in mind that bankruptcy doesn’t eliminate all types of debt, including student loans, alimony, child support, court fees and taxes.

If you’re currently dealing with a wage garnishment, don’t assume that you have no choice but to let it play out.

If the debt is legitimate, negotiate with your creditor in hopes of finding a repayment plan that suits your financial situation. Depending on the type of debt, it may be time to learn more about bankruptcy.

Dealing with wage garnishment is a challenge, but there are steps you can take to fight back and protect your legal rights.