How Quickly Will My Garnishment Stop After I File Bankruptcy?
Bankruptcy has the power to stop a wage garnishment. Filing bankruptcy technically stops it immediately upon filing through the Automatic Stay. However, the practical considerations of stopping a wage garnishment shows us that the process is usually a bit longer.
In most cases, several steps must be completed in order to effectively stop a wage garnishment. The best option is to file a bankruptcy case at least a week before your wage garnishment takes effect. If you do so, you stand a great chance of not losing any money to the garnishment. If you file bankruptcy after the wage garnishment has started, you can still stop it with bankruptcy.
In order to stop a wage garnishment, a bankruptcy case must be filed. This is essential, as filing a bankruptcy case with the bankruptcy court invokes the Automatic Stay. The Automatic Stay is an injunction against your creditors and prevents them from making any efforts to collect against you…including garnishing your wages.
Once the bankruptcy case is filed the creditor and the sheriff’s department must be given notice. This step starts the process of stopping the wage garnishment. The creditor will typically send a letter to the sheriff’s department and inform them of the bankruptcy filing and request that the wage garnishment stop.
Once notified (by your creditor or your bankruptcy attorney), the sheriff’s department will prepare a letter to your employer wherein it will release the garnishment order. Some sheriff’s departments are faster than others. How quickly your wage garnishment gets released will be dependent on which sheriff’s department is executing the wage garnishment.
Your employer will typically want a letter from the sheriff’s department to stop the wage garnishment. Some employers have stopped wage garnishments upon the filing of the bankruptcy case, however, most will want something from the sheriff’s department to stop it.
Once all the factors are taken into account, it takes about 7 days to 4 weeks to release a wage garnishment after it is filed. In most cases, the delay is caused by the particular sheriff’s department responsible for the wage garnishment. If any money is taken after your bankruptcy case is filed, that money will eventually be returned to you by the sheriff’s department.
Contact our office for your affordable and low cost bankruptcy options to stop your wage garnishment.