The wage garnishment laws vary from state to state. Arizona is one of the states that permit general creditors to garnish wages for unpaid debts. Your wages may be garnished for unpaid credit card bills, medical debts, personal loans, and deficiency judgments. Some debts may trigger garnishments without a court order, such as alimony, child support, taxes, and federal student loans.
Do not ignore a debt collection lawsuit or a wage garnishment notice. Ignoring legal documents could result in a substantial amount of your income being withheld by your employer for a wage garnishment order. Instead, talk to our Surprise wage garnishment attorneys about your legal rights and options to stop wage garnishments.
How Does a Creditor Garnish Wages in Surprise, AZ?
The creditor must file a debt collection lawsuit and obtain a personal judgment against you before it can petition the court for a wage garnishment order. Once the judge grants the garnishment order, your employer must begin withholding the amount ordered by the court for the garnishment.
By law, up to 25 percent of your net income may be garnished for an unpaid debt in Arizona. However, the amount cannot exceed an amount equal to 30 times the federal minimum wage rate. You may qualify for a hardship reduction in the garnishment amount, but you must request the reduction and the court must approve it.
Do I Have Other Options for Stopping a Wage Garnishment in Arizona?
You can talk to our Surprise wage garnishment lawyers about filing a bankruptcy case to stop the wage garnishment. Filing a Chapter 13 bankruptcy case or a Chapter 7 bankruptcy case stops the wage garnishment. However, the type of debt being garnished determines whether the debt goes away forever after the bankruptcy case closes. To potential prevent this, contact a Surprise bankruptcy lawyer early on to proactively determine the best legal path forward concerning your bankruptcy case.
The debt that resulted in the wage garnishment must be dischargeable (forgivable) in bankruptcy to go away forever. Debts that are dischargeable in bankruptcy include:
- Most personal loans;
- Credit card bills;
- Medical debts;
- Old utility bills;
- Most judgment liens;
- Old rent or lease payments; and,
- Some old income tax debts.
If the debt is discharged in bankruptcy, the creditor cannot resume wage garnishment or other debt collection efforts when your bankruptcy case is complete.
However, if the debt is not eligible for a bankruptcy discharge, you may need to file a Chapter 13 case to ensure the debt is gone when you exit your bankruptcy case.
The non-dischargeable debt is paid in full through your Chapter 13 plan. If the debt is paid in full, there is no need for a wage garnishment order when you complete the Chapter 13 repayment plan.
Contact Our Surprise Wage Garnishment Lawyers for Additional Information
A wage garnishment may not be valid. Our Surprise wage garnishment attorney can review the order to determine if a mistake was made that could result in a reversal of the order.
However, reversing or changing a wage garnishment order after the court grants the order is much more difficult than defending yourself during the initial process. Therefore, contact us as soon as you learn about an attempt to garnish your wages.
Contact 602 Law Group by calling 602-562-5000 to schedule your free consultation with a Surprise wager garnishment lawyer to discuss ways to stop wage garnishments in Arizona.