Wage garnishment takes place when the government or a court order notifies your employer that a portion of your paycheck will be removed to pay a debt.
This could be from credit card debt, student loan debt, medical bills, bank loans or unpaid taxes. It can be a difficult process to go through, especially when money is already tight, but there are legal protections in place that set maximum amounts on monthly garnishments. Some people may even be able to amend or end the garnishment with bankruptcy.
Income & Bank Account Sources Exempt from Income Execution (Garnishment) or Bank Account Levy (Frozen Bank Account) in New York:
1. Supplemental security income, (SSI);
2. Social security;
3. Public assistance (welfare);
4. Spousal support, maintenance (alimony) or child support;
5. Unemployment benefits;
6. Disability benefits;
7. Workers’ compensation benefits;
8. Public or private pensions;
9. Veterans benefits;
10. Ninety percent of your wages or salary earned in the last sixty days;
11. $2,750 of any bank account containing statutorily exempt payments that were deposited electronically or by direct deposit within the last fourty-five days, including by not limited to, your social security, supplemental security income, veterans benefits, public benefits, public assistance, workers’ compensation, unemployment insurance, public or private pensions, or child support payments.
If you think that any of your money that has been taken or held is exempt, you must act promptly because the money may be applied to the judgment or order.
There Are Legal Options to End Wage Garnishment
A Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 Bankruptcy stops all garnishments and protects some or all of the money in a frozen bank account. A Chapter 7 Bankruptcy could render you debt free overnight, assuming you qualify.
For those who do NOT qualify for Chapter 7, then Chapter 13 allows a debtor to repay only what he or she can afford to repay under a 5 year Chapter 13 repayment plan. Chapter 13 debtors may wind up discharging a large portion of their debt while paying back only a small portion through the Chapter 13 repayment plan.
If you would like to speak with an experienced bankruptcy attorney in New York to know if you qualify for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy to stop a garnishment or unfreeze a frozen bank account, call me today at 718-863-6000 to schedule an initial consultation.