Ways & How

how to stop wage garnishment in California

how to stop wage garnishment in California

Like in other states, California law requires a creditor to go through a court procedure in order to garnish a debtor's wage. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS), however, does not require a court order to effect wage garnishment. When a creditor obtains a favorable judgment to garnish your wage that can affect your personal life, career, day-to-day living expenses, and credit record you have to do something. They can garnish 25% of your net disposable income. If you are confronted with this kind of trouble, you better find out how to stop wage garnishment in California. First, your creditors will file a suit to enforce collection against you. Then, you will receive a notice from the court about the filing of the case. You can challenge the case by filing a response in accordance to the guidelines set forth in the notice. However, if the court finds the pleadings of the creditors to be meritorious, it will issue an order for wage garnishment. The writ of garnishment will then be forwarded to your employer, so that the court-ordered amount may be incorporated on your payroll.



If you are still not sure how to stop the writ, just follow the tips below.

  1. Call your creditors. You should try asking your creditors to allow you to pay for your debts on an installment basis or in any manner workable for you without going through a court proceeding. Inquire if your creditors are open to creating some sort of a repayment scheme, so your wage may no longer be garnished. Although this approach is rarely successful, you should still give it a try; you may be surprised to learn that there are creditors who are more than willing to give you another chance.

  2. File a claim of exemption. In California, you can file a Claim of Exemption Form (WG-006) with the court or levying officer in order to stop the writ of wage of garnishment. Submit your proof of income and living expenses to prove that your funds, after the wage garnishment, will not enable you to provide for your basic living necessities. If your creditors file for an opposition to your claim, a court hearing will follow and the presiding judge will decide whether it is too much to garnish 25% of your net disposable income and how much should be deducted from your paystubs.

  3. Stop wage garnishment for lack of notice or improper service. If you did not know anything about the case until your employer notified you, challenge the case on account of improper service. Most likely, the order against you was a default judgment or summary judgment since you did not have any chance to be in court and defend your side of the case. Engage the services of a lawyer for this purpose.

    Remember, however, that after the wage garnishment is stopped, your creditors can still institute the proper case for the second time around and serve you with the proper notices.

  4. File for bankruptcy. You have to declare bankruptcy as soon as possible. By the time you file a petition for bankruptcy, it stops all legal proceedings against you, including wage garnishment. Many people see this as a better option, rather than having a portion of their wage being garnished. In case the order for garnishment is already in effect, the same will be released upon filing for bankruptcy. In effect, the wage garnishment will no longer continue. Most people who filed for bankruptcy were able to improve their credit level after 3 years.

Generally, only 25% of your net income may be garnished, but for purposes of spouse or child support, your employer can garnish as much as 50%. The California law even allows the garnishment of the wage of a debtor's domestic partner or spouse, even if he or she was not a defendant in the case earlier decided by the court. Take note that your employer cannot discharge you on account of the wage garnishment order against you. Your employer cannot refuse payment to the levying officer, nor can they change the date of your payroll just to withhold payment. If all these things are confronting you, you better apply the tips above on how to stop wage garnishment in California. 

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