Wage Garnishment Attorneys in Milwaukee, Wisconsin
An automatic stay is formed when you file for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy, which prevents creditors from initiating legal action or pursuing collections against you, such as repossession and wage garnishment. If you are behind on your payments or have already had your wages garnished, you must act quickly to save yourself as much money, time, and worry as possible.
Our wage garnishment attorneys will work with you to determine which debt relief option is best for you. Bankruptcy is a tool that millions of individuals have used to regain control of their finances and get back on track. You will learn more about your options and rights by speaking with us at Miller & Miller Law, LLC.
Why do I need a Wage Garnishment Attorney in Wisconsin?
When you receive a wage garnishment notice while already living paycheck to paycheck, it can push you over the edge. When you need to stop a wage garnishment order immediately and get out of debt, bankruptcy may be your best alternative. However, it’s critical to utilize this strong tool responsibly, which is why you’ll need the help of a reputable attorney.
Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy may be your only choice if you want to stop your wage garnishment. Consult an experienced, respected attorney to make sure you’re making the best decisions for a debt-free future.
Our attorneys at Miller & Miller Law, LLC in Wisconsin have helped thousands of clients stop wage garnishment by filing for bankruptcy.
What is Wage Garnishment?
Wage garnishment, also known as “wage attachment,” is the order that instructs the employer to withdraw a particular amount from your paycheck and transfer it towards one of the creditors. A creditor can normally only garnish your wages after securing a court ruling.
Unless you litigate and secure a judgment, creditors cannot garnish your paycheck if you are behind on your credit card payments or other cases like owing a physician’s bill. Some creditors, like those who owe you money for child support, federal student loans, taxes, or alimony, can garnish your wages without filing a lawsuit. Such creditors have the legal authority to collect money from your paycheck.
Some states cap the amount of money that can be garnished at a specific percentage of your salary. Wisconsin’s standards are stricter than the federal government’s, limiting garnishments to about 20% in most circumstances.
Unless the debt is fully paid or you make an action to stop it, such as filing a claim with the court, the creditor can continue to garnish your wages. The amount of money you can keep is controlled by your state’s exemption legislation. You may be capable of keeping some or all of your money, depending on your circumstances.
What to do if you’re getting garnished
Rules for Wage Garnishment
Wage garnishment is a sensitive topic. Although creditors are limited in when they can pursue orders, most are eager to go through the hoops if it means they’ll obtain their money sooner. Some creditors, such as the government, school lenders, and child support recipients, do not need court orders to garnish your wages.
Wisconsin provides additional safeguards to debtors who are in specific circumstances. If you take out a payday loan, for example, the lender cannot garnish your income to recover the money. Individuals and families who fall below predefined poverty lines are also excluded under state law, and judges may grant additional relief to debtors who may demonstrate unusual circumstances or challenges.
How to Avoid Garnishment of your Wages?
Creditors can keep on garnishing your earnings until your debt is paid off or you if take action to stop the garnishment, like filing a judicial exemption. If you get a wage garnishment notice, you may be able to defend or “exempt” all or some of your wages by submitting an exemption claim or making an objection with the court.
The steps you must take to challenge a wage garnishment are determined by the sort of debt a creditor is attempting to take as well as state laws.
How to Immediately Stop Wage Garnishment?
What about the vast majority of debtors in Wisconsin who are not eligible for wage garnishment relief or exemptions? In the legal community, bankruptcy is frequently seen as the best option.
Contrary to popular assumptions, bankruptcy does not automatically imply that you are bankrupt. Instead, it’s a temporary legal status with special protections designed to keep people who can’t pay their obligations out of trouble. The entitlement to an automatic stay is one of these advantages.
A court-ordered pause, or injunction, on debt collection operations is known as an automatic stay. An injunction prevents most creditors from pursuing garnishments, and the stay lasts until your bankruptcy case is finished. In other words, you’ll have more time to develop and execute your strategy.
All automatic stays are not created equal. For example, wage garnishments for child support or alimony are not affected by Chapter 7 injunctions. Our Milwaukee wage garnishment attorney can help you with the best option suitable for your situation. Get in touch with Miller & Miller Law, LLC today.
Wisconsin’s Wage Garnishment Limits
Most creditors in Wisconsin could garnish the lesser of (with few exceptions—see below):
- 20% from your disposable earnings (“Disposable earnings” refers to the portion of the debtor’s wages that remains after Social Security taxes, as well as state and federal income taxes, are deducted from the wage statement.), or
- the amount of your disposable earnings that is greater than 30 times the federal minimum wage.
However, if the amount result falls underneath the poverty line, the garnishment is restricted to the amount over the poverty line. You may also seek a remedy from the court when the exemption is not enough to provide you together with your dependents with the essentials of life.
A creditor also cannot seize your earnings in the situations below:
- If the income of your family is under the poverty level.
- If you obtained need-based government aid (like veteran’s benefits or supplemental security income) and received this within the period of six months of the garnishment forms being delivered on the garnishee, or if you have been qualified for need-based aids but have not yet begun receiving benefits.
- A court ruling requires that 25% at least of disposable income be reserved for support.
Furthermore, in Wisconsin, a payday loan holder cannot employ garnishment from the wage to retrieve the debt.
Child Support, Student Loans, and Unpaid Taxes Limits
A creditor or the government can garnish your earnings without obtaining a court order if you owe child support, federal student loans, or taxes.
Limits on Garnishment for Unpaid Child Support
Every child support decree includes an automatic income withholding order. If you fall behind on child support payments, the other parent may seek a wage garnishment order from the court.
This form of wage garnishment is prohibited by federal law. If you are currently sustaining a spouse or child who’s not the subject of the order, 50% (at most) of your disposable income could be withdrawn for child support payments. If you don’t support a child or spouse, you could lose up to 60% of your wages. If you are more than 12 weeks behind on your payments, you may be charged an extra 5%.
Garnishment Limit for Defaulted Federal Student Loans
United States Department of Education or a collection agency operating on its behalf can take 15%, at most, of your wages if you default on a federal student loan. This sort of garnishment is known as an administrative garnishment. However, you are permitted to keep 30 times the current federal minimal pay weekly.
Remember that income up to 30 times the weekly minimum wage is protected from garnishment under federal law.
Unpaid Taxes Garnishment Limits
If you owe unpaid taxes, the federal government can take your salary (known as “levy”) even without a court order. The exempt amount per week is calculated by adding the standard deduction of a taxpayer and the entire amount of personal exemption deductions permitted in the taxable year where the levy occurs.
The sum is then divided by 52. The IRS (Internal Revenue Service) based the amount exempt from the levy on standard deduction for a married individual separately filing with one personal exemption only if you don’t check the standard deduction and how many dependents you’re authorized to claim on your tax return.
Local and states governments may be allowed to garnish your salary in gathering unpaid local and state taxes. Department of Revenue of Wisconsin can take your gross earnings’ 25% if you owe state taxes.
Call our Wage Garnishment Attorney Now!
If you are facing wage garnishment, you have a number of options. Filing for bankruptcy is one strategy to block a creditor from stealing your money, as it will place an automatic hold on your account and prohibit any future garnishments.
Another advantage of declaring bankruptcy is that it will halt any collection tactics that an agency is currently employing. It is usually better to speak with an experienced bankruptcy attorney sooner rather than later because a creditor may get a judgment without your knowledge. This is the most effective way to safeguard your possessions.
If you are being threatened with wage garnishment, contact Miller & Miller Law, LLC immediately. We can also assist you in stopping judgments as well as reclaiming money that has already been garnished. Contact our trusted attorneys today to learn more about the Wisconsin Consumer Act and the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, both of which provide protection against this. Let us talk about how we can help you!