Wage Garnishment Attorney in North Carolina
Has a creditor threatened to garnish your wages over unpaid debt in North Carolina? Have they already started to take payments directly from your paycheck? If so, you might feel that you have no control over the situation and be stressed about what this will do to your finances.
Every year, millions of American workers are subjected to wage garnishment. When this happens, a court orders an employer to withhold a portion of someone’s paycheck to satisfy certain outstanding debts. This process can cause a great deal of anxiety for the person whose wages are being garnished, making living with debt feel even more challenging.
If you are dealing with the stress of wage garnishment, a bankruptcy filing may help, depending on the facts of your situation. Sasser Law Firm offers free consultations with a North Carolina wage garnishment attorney to review your options. Our phone number is (919)319-7400.
Can a Creditor Garnish Your Wages?
If you miss payments for certain types of debt for an extended period of time, a creditor may file a lawsuit seeking a money judgment. After the entry of a judgment, the judgment creditor may seek to garnish wages. If approved, your employer will begin withholding a certain amount of your pay to submit to your creditor.
What Is North Carolina’s Wage Garnishment Laws?
In North Carolina, not every type of debt can subject your wages to garnishment. Most types of personal debt, such as credit card debt and car loans, do not qualify for wage garnishment.
However, your wages could be garnished in North Carolina if you owe for debts such as:
- Student loans
- Child support
While North Carolina only permits wage garnishment for limited categories of debt, a creditor may obtain a court order from another state that allows them to garnish wages from a North Carolina judgment debtor. In that case, wage garnishment within North Carolina is possible for debts such as credit cards. This occurs most frequently when a person has moved into North Carolina while subject to a money judgment out of state.
Limits on North Carolina Wage Garnishment
There are legal limits to the amount of money that can be garnished from your wages. According to North Carolina law, out-of-state creditors may generally take up to 25 percent of your disposable income or any income over 30 times the federal minimum wage. Disposable income refers to income that remains after the standard deductions from your paycheck. These limits do not apply to each creditor, but to all of them together.
While there are general limits to how much creditors are allowed to garnish, there are also specific limits on the amounts that certain creditors may take:
- Child support — Child support debts may be subject to garnishment of 50 to 60 percent of your disposable income, depending on your circumstances.
- Student loans — Student loan creditors may only take up to 15 percent of your disposable income.
- Taxes — When it comes to debt owed to the N.C. Department of Revenue, the garnishment cannot exceed 10 percent of your disposable income. For federal taxes, you would want to consult IRS publication 1494 to determine the maximum garnishment exposure.
How Our North Carolina Wage Garnishment Attorney Can Help
If you cannot pay off the debts causing your wages to be garnished, one of the most effective ways to end North Carolina wage garnishment is to file for bankruptcy. Once you do this, there will often be an automatic stay on the garnishments of your pay.
In general, as a consumer you have two options when it comes to filing for bankruptcy:
- Chapter 7 — Chapter 7 bankruptcy allows for the discharge of many types of debts although often not student loan debt, recent income tax liabilities, or domestic obligations. In chapter 7, a trustee may liquidate the nonexempt assets of a debtor. There are eligibility restrictions in chapter 7 based on household income and other factors.
- Chapter 13 — Chapter 13 bankruptcy also stops wage garnishment, but differently. This type of bankruptcy restructures your finances and sets up a payment plan. You can opt to fund the repayment plan with an ongoing income and/or the sale of assets. The plans can be no longer than five years.
Our experienced and compassionate wage garnishment attorneys at Sasser Law Firm will walk you through the process and keep you informed of your legal options.
Contact Sasser Law Firm to Know Your Options While Facing Wage Garnishment
If you are facing wage garnishment due to outstanding debts, the North Carolina wage garnishment attorneys at Sasser Law Firm are here to help. We offer free consultations. We do not charge any upfront fees or cost to file chapter 13.