So, Creditors Are Threatening to Garnish Your Bank Account?
“Attachment” is a perfectly harmless word, except in certain contexts. You try to show your spouse that you care about them, and your spouse responds by telling you that you have an insecure attachment style. Your mother accidentally downloaded a virus onto her computer because you were one second too late saying, “Don’t click on that attachment” when she opened an email that seemed too good to be true. When you posted an adorable picture on social media of your baby’s first day of daycare, your Facebook friends responded with a chorus of disapproval, saying that you should practice attachment parenting and never let your child leave your side until the child is ready. Of all the contexts in which the word “attachment” can make your blood run cold, though, perhaps the worst is “wage attachment,” which is a euphemism for wage garnishment, which is when the court authorizes a creditor to take money directly out of your paycheck or bank account without your consent. If creditors are threatening you with garnishment, contact a Philadelphia debt collection abuse lawyer.
Be Thankful That You Live in Pennsylvania
It isn’t just the scenic views, the cheesesteaks, and the pronoun “youse” that make Pennsylvania one of the best places to live. Pennsylvania offers a lot more protection against garnishment of your earnings than most other states do. In fact, Pennsylvania law does not allow creditors to garnish your bank account for most types of debts, and when it does allow garnishment, it makes sure that the creditor is leaving you enough money so that they are not putting you in an impossible position where you won’t have enough to pay for necessities and where they force you to take on more debt in order to survive.
Before any garnishment can happen, the court must determine your disposable income, which in this context means your net pay after your employer withholds taxes and social security. Garnishment can only happen if your earnings are at least 30 times the federal minimum wage; this rule protects many low-income borrowers from garnishment.
How Much of Your Money Can Creditors Take from Your Account Without Your Consent?
The percentage of your disposable income that a creditor can garnish depends on the type of debt.
- Unpaid child support – 50 percent
- Unpaid rent – 10 percent, but only if you are above the poverty line
- Student loans – 15 percent, but only if you are in default
- State taxes – 10 percent, but only if you are above the poverty line
The best way to avoid garnishment is to look at the big picture about your debts, which in some cases involves debt consolidation, debt settlement, or bankruptcy. The debts subject to garnishment are the hardest ones to discharge, but a lawyer can help you deal with them.
Contact an Attorney for Help
A Philadelphia debt collection abuse attorney can help you protect yourself against garnishment and abusive debt collection practices. Contact Louis S. Schwartz at CONSUMERLAWPA.com to set up a free, confidential consultation.