Experienced Bankruptcy Lawyer Helps Clients Facing Wage Garnishment in Cherry Hill, Marlton and throughout South New Jersey
If you are in over your head in debt and have fallen behind on bills, your creditors may decide to get a judgment against you. If they are successful, a judge may order your employer to withhold a certain amount of your salary or hourly wages and send those funds directly to your lender. It goes without saying that someone who is already in considerable debt and is unable to pay monthly bills would have a very difficult time trying to make ends meet when their wages are being garnished.
If you are facing court-ordered wage garnishment, you need to speak with an experienced debt negotiation lawyer who is knowledgeable about all debt-related laws and who can explain debtors’ rights to you, as well. Joel R. Spivack, Esq. has been guiding families in Cherry Hill, Maple Shade, Moorestown and the surrounding New Jersey communities through debt negotiation and bankruptcy for well over two decades. He can discuss the benefits of bankruptcy and other options.
What Are the Laws Governing Wage Garnishment in Camden and Burlington Counties and Across New Jersey?
Contrary to popular belief, your lender cannot just decide to contact your boss to request a wage garnishment. In fact, creditors must first get a judgment against you. This is a legal document the creditor needs as proof that you owe them money. Once they get the judgment against you, a judge may permit your wages to be attached, or garnished. Types of debts most often garnished in this fashion are credit card debts or bills owed to doctors or lawyers.
On the other hand, there are some debts that do not require the creditor to get a court order for wage garnishment. These include student loans, child support payments and income taxes that have not been paid. The amount of wages allowed to be siphoned off your paycheck through wage garnishment is extraordinarily high. For example, up to 50 percent of your disposable salary (the amount you take home after your employer pays required taxes and fees) can be attached if you fall behind on court-mandated child support.
The federal government has guidelines that govern wage garnishment actions. New Jersey has its own, extremely stringent, guidelines. While creditors are only allowed to take a certain percentage of your wages by state law, that amount is fairly significant in NJ. In most cases, the judge will order a wage garnishment that amounts to as much as 25 percent of your salary to repay debts. A judge will take your entire financial situation into account because you must be left with enough to pay your monthly expenses.
An experienced wage garnishment lawyer can help you understand your rights when it comes to how much of your salary can be attached. But, just as importantly, a skilled negotiator like Joel R. Spivack, Esq. can speak with your creditors and work out another debt repayment plan that doesn’t involve having your bank accounts frozen or wages garnished. There are many important pieces of information that Mr. Spivack can use to protect your wages. For example, military pay is completely exempt from wage garnishment in New Jersey.
You Need an Experienced Debt Lawyer Fighting for You When Your Wages are Garnished in Camden County, NJ
You may be thinking, why would I want to incur legal fees when I’m already drowning in debt? The answer is many-fold:
- Maximum Garnishments: Mr. Spivack knows the ins and outs of wage garnishment law in both NJ and the US. He knows, for example, that multiple wage garnishment court orders cannot take in excess of the total maximum amount allowed by law. He will protect your rights when it comes to issues like this. He won’t allow you to be taken advantage of when you are most vulnerable.
- Protection against Termination: Sometimes, bosses don’t want to deal with the paperwork associated with wage garnishments, so they look for a reason to fire you. It’s also important to note that employers are not allowed to discuss your personal business with others or discriminate against you in any way because of your financial problems. There are laws against this, and Mr. Spivack will fight for your job and your rights.
- File for Bankruptcy Protection: As soon as you file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection, a judge will order an “automatic stay” which prevents your creditors from trying to collect debt – at least temporarily. This would include any wage garnishments. Mr. Spivack can guide you through this process.
- Request a Modification to the Wage Garnishment Order: If you believe you can prove to a court that you truly cannot afford to have your paycheck garnished (at all or to the extreme of the current order), Mr. Spivack may be able to file a motion requesting a reduction. Similarly, if the wage garnishment puts you in a situation where you cannot pay for basic living expenses such as rent and food, Mr. Spivack may be able to show the court that the wage garnishment order puts you unfairly below the poverty line.
Debt laws and wage garnishment guidelines are complex. Don’t try to deal with these financial challenges alone. Talking with an experienced Camden and Burlington County bankruptcy lawyer is your best chance at developing a strategy toward better financial health.
Talk to a Cherry Hill, NJ Wage Garnishment Lawyer about Your Debt Today
If you are facing wage garnishment or any other financial hardship, it’s understandable that you are stressed and overwhelmed. Every day brings another bill and the harassing phone calls seem to never stop. Speaking with a compassionate, skilled debt lawyer who can guide you through debt negotiation, or another alternative to bankruptcy, is an important step toward financial health. Joel R. Spivack, Esq. is a seasoned bankruptcy lawyer who can explain debtors’ rights and help you weigh your options when it comes to filing Chapter 7 or 13.
Fill out our convenient contact form or call the Law Office of Joel R. Spivack today to speak with an experienced lawyer who will fight tirelessly to protect your rights.