Are you at risk for wage garnishment? This is a type of court order that can be personally and financially devastating and should be avoided wherever possible. Unfortunately, every individual can be susceptible to wage garnishment and should be actively aware of the risk that comes from not repaying active creditors. If you’ve found yourself in a situation in which your dealing with wage garnishment, or are concerned that you may be vulnerable to it, we encourage you to seek legal representation. Below, we’ve compiled a few ways that you can avoid it and list the steps you need to take to contest a wage garnishment order in the state of Utah.
What is wage garnishment?
Wage garnishment orders are filed by the court and give your employer a court order to withhold a certain amount of your profits from your source of employment. This percentage is decided by the court and is based entirely on what is owed on an outstanding basis to creditors or government agencies. This order can be contested by going through the proper administrative channels.
How to avoid wage garnishment in Utah
If you’re facing the possibility of wage garnishment in the state of Utah, there are ways that you can protect yourself and mitigate risk. Below are some ways that you can avoid the possibility of garnishment:
1. Open a bankruptcy case
While this certainly should not be the first option you choose, opening a bankruptcy case, either Chapter 7 or Chapter 11, can halt movement on a garnishment order in the state of Utah. This is not the best method, however, as you can potentially incur more financial damage and consequences. Bankruptcies trigger an “automatic stay” injunction, which can also halt any other type of collection efforts that are ongoing against your accounts. However, opening a bankruptcy case can make it very difficult to get large-scale but necessary purchases in the future, such as a house or a vehicle.
2. Paying off the amount owed
Wage garnishment is the result of chronically unpaid debt. If you can find the resources to pay off your debts in the form of a modified payment plan or in a lump sum, this can help you to avoid the risk of garnishment. Some may seek additional loans or financial assistance from friends or family members. In either case, once the outstanding amount has been satisfied, you will no longer be at risk for garnishment.
3. Communicating with your creditors
Lack of communication can be devastating when it comes to wage garnishment. Everyone falls on difficult times, especially after the events of the last few years. By simply communicating with any outstanding debt collection agencies or creditors that you have yet to repay, you can have it on record that you are going through difficulty, and ask for options to help you alleviate debt at a more affordable rate. Often, you will be able to adapt to a modified payment schedule or be given paperwork for an exemption, depending on the nature of your difficulty. This is a much better route to take than trying to continue to fight the debt with no communication, as that can make you vulnerable to debt collection efforts such as garnishment.
How to contest wage garnishment
If you plan to contest wage garnishment, we recommend that you seek services from a qualified attorney in your area. They will be able to represent you and ensure that your interests are protected throughout the process. Below are a few steps that you can take if you plan to contest a wage garnishment order:
1. Seek help from a qualified legal professional
Garnishment is a difficult process to work through, which is why your case may benefit from legal representation. Your lawyer can act as a resource to you to clarify your rights against garnishment in the state of Utah and can assist you with the overall administrative filing process. They can also help you to cover all of your bases and ensure that no steps are missed.
2. Create a written document contesting the order
If you have been served with a garnishment order, and wish to contest it, you will need to create a written document actively contesting the order. You will also need to give this to the court and request a hearing. Your attorney can help you to draft this document and arrange a time to meet with the court officers, who will be able to help you take the next step in your case.
Ascent Law is here to help
Are you dealing with wage garnishment issues in the state of Utah? Ascent Law wants to help. We have years of success and experience with wage garnishment matters. Our experts are ready to assist you every step of the way. For more information about wage garnishment, and what Ascent Law can do for your case, please contact our office today at (801) 432-8682.