When Do You Need a Garnishment Lawyer?
Wage garnishment is a legal process that allows part of an individual’s wages or salary to be withheld by their employer and paid directly to their creditor or other entity to which the individual owes a debt.
A creditor may obtain a court order that initiates a wage garnishment against an individual that may be used to collect:
Whether or not an individual should hire a lawyer for their wage garnishment issue will depend on several factors, including:
- Whether or not they owe the debt;
- Whether the legal fees will exceed the debt amount;
- Whether the creditor is taking too much;
- If the individual wants to work out other payment arrangements with the creditor;
- If the individual’s employer is threatening to terminate them due to the garnishment; or
- The creditor is attempting to circumvent the wage exemption by garnishing the individual’s bank account.
If an individual is facing a wage garnishment, they may be wondering if they can stop it. In some cases, the best thing to do is take no action and allow their wages to be garnished until they pay their debt. In other cases, for example, wrongful wage garnishments, it may be smart to challenge the garnishment or amount and hire a lawyer.
Wrongful wage garnishment attorneys handle cases involving individuals who have had their wages garnished unfairly or improperly. They can assist clients with:
- The validity of the wage garnishment order;
- Negotiating with creditors to settle the debt; and
- Seeking legal remedies to stop the garnishment, if available.
A lawyer may also be able to help their client with alternative debt relief options, which may include bankruptcy or debt consolidation, in order to obtain control over their financial situation.
How Much Does It Cost to Hire a Garnishment Lawyer in the U.S.?
The cost of hiring a garnishment lawyer in the United States will depend on several factors, including, but not limited to:
- The jurisdictions of the case;
- The scope of work the lawyer performs;
- The types and amount of debts the individual has; and
- How difficult the lawyer believes it may be to settle the debt.
With these types of cases, lawyers will typically charge an hourly fee, which may range anywhere from $125-325 dollars, on average, depending on the location and experience level of the lawyer. If the cost of hiring a lawyer will exceed the cost of the debt, it may not be helpful.
What to Look For in a Garnishment Lawyer?
When an individual is looking for a garnishment lawyer, they should consider:
- How the attorney charges for their work and the cost;
- What state bar(s) does the lawyer belong to?;
- The attorney’s track record or performance in court;
- How long the attorney has been practicing; and
- Whether or not the lawyer has faced discipline for an ethical or professional infraction.
An individual will want to find a lawyer who fits in their budget and with whom they feel comfortable working and sharing details about their lives, as the lawyer will likely have to examine every aspect of the individual’s financial situation.
How to Prepare for Your Consultation With a Garnishment Lawyer?
Once an individual has decided they need to hire a garnishment lawyer, there are some steps they should take to prepare. Creditors may be permitted to garnish an individual’s wages when they owe a debt and have not made payments or an agreement to repay that debt.
There are, however, certain rules that must be followed depending on the location and the type of debt. A lawyer can explain to their client the rules of their state.
An individual should bring any and all documentation they have related to their finances to their consultation. In addition, they should bring any correspondence from a court or debt collection agency.
An attorney will have to examine all of the documents to determine if the garnishment is proper. An individual should be prepared for an in-depth examination of their finances, not because lawyers are nosy, but because it is needed to build the best case for their clients.
Where to Find the Best Garnishment Lawyers in the U.S.?
If you are facing a wage garnishment or other types of legal or financial issues, you should consult with a financial lawyer who can help you understand your legal rights and options for resolving your financial problems. Your lawyer can help you challenge the wage garnishment or seek debt relief and help you protect your financial interests.
Finding a lawyer, especially if you are already stressed and overwhelmed, can be even more overwhelming. LegalMatch can help you find the best garnishment lawyers in the United States.