Can I Be Fired For Having My Wages Garnished?
Unfortunately, the answer to that question is “yes.” Wage garnishments or attachments are complicated matters. They are complicated for the creditor who is pursuing them, as well as the employer who has to carry them out. With the exception of court ordered child support, unpaid child support, unpaid taxes, and student loan debt, a creditor has to sue you in court and win in order to garnish your wages. This means that the creditor has to weigh whether your debt is worth the cost and hassle of launching such a lawsuit. In a case where you owe a substantial amount of debt, a creditor will definitely take the steps needed to garnish your wages.
There are federal and state regulations governing the percentages a creditor can take from your paycheck, and there are federal protections against being fired for having your wages garnished. But, unlike the three strikes allowed in baseball, employees having their wages garnished are only allotted one strike. It works like this: Visa sues to garnish your wages and wins. Your employer withholds 25 percent or your disposable income until your debt is paid off. In this case, your employer cannot fire you. However, if you also owe money to Mastercard and they garnish your wages, you can be fired. And the garnishments don’t have to occur at the same time. If you finish paying off one debt and then receive another garnishment, your employer can fire you.
The good thing is that there are steps you can take to avoid having your wages garnished. If you’re represented by an experienced debt relief attorney, you can fight the lawsuit against you. At the very least, this will delay the garnishment until you have the money to pay down the debt. An experienced attorney can also negotiate with your creditor and work out some type payment agreement. If a creditor is taking steps to have your wages garnished, call the San Fernando Valley offices of Naraghi & Woodcock, APLC for a free consultation. Dial (800) 568-0707 today.