Report: Wage garnishment for debts has doubled since 2007
Financial strain takes a toll on Georgia families every day. As people try to recovery from the economic recession, debt continues to make this very difficult. In some cases, people learn that their wages will have to be garnished to repay debts, which only makes the pursuit of financial stability that much more of a challenge.
According to a recent report by ProPublica, the number of people having their wages garnished because of consumer debt has nearly doubled over the past seven years. Employees are seeing their paychecks diminished by creditors, whether a person’s debt stems from credit cards, unpaid loans or medical bills.
ADP, a payroll services company, has noted that 3 percent of all workers in the U.S. had wages garnished last year. Further, they found that the people who are most likely to have their pay docked to pay creditors are earning between $25,000 and $40,000 a year, which means that people already struggling to make ends meet with their income are taking home even less money when creditors take a cut of their paycheck.
While wage garnishment may be an effective way for creditors to collect payment, it really only perpetuates a cycle of debt. Taking home less money means that employees may need to continue to rely on credit cards or miss other bill payments.
Generally speaking, wage garnishment is court ordered. This means that creditors and consumers have to go to court in order to fight for or against wage garnishment. If a person does not have legal support in these hearings or does not respond to them, the judgment will often be in favor of creditors.
In order to avoid wage garnishment, or to take a more comprehensive approach to dealing with unmanageable financial obligations, it can be wise to discuss the situation with an attorney. Legal representation can be enormously helpful for people who must appear in court, and a bankruptcy lawyer can provide critical answers to people regarding their options for seeking debt relief solutions.
Source: Wall St. Cheat Sheet, “The Ghost of Debts Past: Americans Face the Reality of Wage Garnishment,” Katey Troutman, Jan. 26, 2015