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If you are sued by a creditor, and that creditor receives a judgement in its favor, it may execute on that judgement by garnishing up to 25% of your net earnings. But again, the only way that a garnishment may take place is if the creditor first receives a judgment. A fuller description is provided below:
When you stop paying on a debt (like a credit cards), then the eventually the creditor will sue you in state court for breach of contract (in other words, the creditor will be arguing that you entered into a contract to receive money by way of a line of creditor, but you failed to make timely payments on the debt). The first step in the process is getting you served. This can be a process server (a private individual or company that specializes in such things), or a deputy sheriff of the county in which you live.
Once that summons is served, it gives you the time, date, and court address for the initial hearing on the matter. It will also indicate that you have certain rights (such as mounting a defense by way of answering the summons). If you do nothing on the court date (like you do not show up), or if you do not mount a defense, then the court will award a judgement in favor of the creditor.
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The creditor will have to wait thirty (30) days by court rule so that the judgment can be finalized (this is because you are given the opportunity to appeal the decision during that period of time if you so choose). If you do not appeal the decision, then the creditor can execute on the judgment in three primary ways: 1) wage garnishment; 2) bank levy; 3) lien against property (usually real estate).
If the creditor chooses option one, then it will have to draw up a Writ of Garnishment with the court in which it received the judgment, and provide the clerk with your employment information (name of employer, and mailing address). This is then sent to your payroll department for processing. And if your payroll department is on top of things, then your very next paycheck can be garnished by up to 25% of your net pay.
So how do you take care of this situation? You can either pay off the debt, or you can file a St Louis bankruptcy!! For instance, a Chapter 7 will discharge all unsecured debts (such as credit cards, medical bills, payday loans, and any judgments that you may currently be dealing with). That means that those debts will be knocked out forever by the Bankruptcy Court (as if they never existed). And any wage garnishments that are currently in effect would come to an end as well!!
The affordable St. Louis bankruptcy attorneys at The Law Office of Jennifer Alter-Rieken have been saving and protecting people’s assets for years. Our goal is to make sure that you keep the assets and property you want, discharge the debts that you want to get rid of, and do it all at an affordable cost to you. All phone conversations and office consultations are free of charge.