Massachusetts Wage Garnishment Lawyers Protecting Your Paychecks
Many people in Massachusetts live paycheck-to-paycheck. These hardworking men and women need every dollar that they earn in order to cover their monthly living expenses. As a result, they can suffer immensely if a creditor begins to garnish their wages.
If your wages are being garnished, the attorneys at Benner & Weinkauf can help. Tell us more about your situation so we can help you determine the best way to protect your paychecks.
What is Wage Garnishment?
Wage garnishment occurs when a creditor instructs your employer to withhold a certain percentage of each of your paychecks. The money that is withheld will be sent to the creditor and used to repay your debts. This ensures the money is sent directly to the creditor, so it never ends up in your hands.
When Can A Creditor Garnish Your Wages in Plymouth?
A creditor typically cannot begin to garnish your wages without a court order. This means the creditor must go to court and prove that you owe them money in order to start garnishing your wages. If the court rules in their favor, a judgement will be entered against you, which will allow the creditor to begin garnishing your wages.
However, there are a few exceptions to this rule. Your wages can be garnished without a court order for several types of debt, including income tax, child support, and alimony.
What Are the Wage Garnishment Limits in Massachusetts?
A creditor cannot take as much as they want from your paycheck even if they have obtained a court order. There are both federal and state laws that limit how much a creditor can take when garnishing your wages. However, the state laws are stricter than the federal laws. In Massachusetts, a creditor can only take:
- 15% of your pre-tax income, or
- Your disposable income less 50 times the state’s minimum hourly wage
These limits apply to most creditors. But again, these rules will not apply for child support or alimony debt.
How Can You Stop Wage Garnishment?
Filing for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy can stop wage garnishment. How? Filing for bankruptcy will trigger an automatic stay, which will temporarily stop all debt collection activities, including wage garnishment. This will give you more time to sort out your finances.
Filing for bankruptcy can also help if the wage garnishment is related to unsecured debts such as credit cards or medical debt. These debts are typically discharged during bankruptcy, which means you will no longer be liable to pay them after your case has been closed. As a result, creditors will no longer have the right to garnish your wages since the debt has been discharged.
Schedule A Free Consultation With Our Wage Garnishment Attorneys
Are your wages being garnished? Don’t let creditors take the money you work so hard to earn. If your wages are being garnished, talk to our experienced bankruptcy lawyers in Plymouth today. At Benner & Weinkauf, we will work tirelessly to protect your rights and your wages. We have helped countless clients stop wage garnishment and secure their financial futures. Now, let us help you. Schedule a no-cost consultation with our team today by calling 774-404-8321.