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Wage Garnishments in Charlotte

Working to Protect Your Finances

In most states, when a creditor obtains a judgment against you for money owed, a wage garnishment can be filed against you. This collection tool allows a judgment-creditor to receive an order from a court or a government agency that is sent to your employer. It requires your employer to withhold a certain amount of money from your paycheck and then send this money directly to your creditor.

North Carolina laws are very strict regarding wage garnishments.Our attorney at Schwilm Law Firm, PLLC can explain your rights in a garnishment action and help you seek bankruptcy protection to stop the creditor immediately from deducting money from your paycheck.

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Call us today at (704) 750-1324 if your wages are being garnished.

Understanding North Carolina Garnishment Laws & Limits

Under North Carolina law, an employer may be ordered to withhold wages from an employee and pay those wages to a creditor for taxes, student loans, child support, alimony or payment of ambulance services in certain North Carolina counties. Note that a creditor may obtain an order of garnishment from another state for other types of debts and enforce that order against a North Carolina employer.

A creditor can garnish 25 percent of your disposable income or the amount by which your disposable income exceeds 30 times the federal minimum wage, whichever is less. Your disposable earnings are those wages that are left after your employer has made the various deductions required by law.

Examples of legally required deductions are:

  • Federal, state and local taxes
  • Social Security
  • The employee portion of state unemployment compensation insurance

In North Carolina, if your disposable income is less than 30 times the federal minimum wage, your wages cannot be garnished at all.

Determining Exemptions for Wage Garnishment

Although the idea behind wage garnishment is to take enough money to satisfy creditors but leave enough money to help support a debtor's basic expenses, this is certainly not always the case. Many people are left with very little or no money to pay for their retirement plans, child support, other debts, and essentials such as life and health insurance. Federal law limits the amount that a creditor can seize, or garnish, from your wages for repayment of debts.

Generally speaking, ordinary creditors are prohibited from garnishing the following types of income:

  • Social Security
  • Disability
  • Retirement
  • Child support
  • Alimony

Of course, certain exceptions do apply to this general rule. Our Charlotte bankruptcy attorney can explain the laws surrounding wage garnishments and how the exemptions apply to your situation.

How to Stop Wage Garnishments

Filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy or Chapter 13 bankruptcy can put an immediate stop to wage garnishment. Although bankruptcy will not be the right answer for every person, we can help explain how bankruptcy can help your particular circumstances. If it is not right for you, we can discuss alternatives with you. Our Charlotte bankruptcy lawyer can help explain all of the state and federal wage garnishment laws that can impact your situation.

Consult a Charlotte Bankruptcy Lawyer About Your Finances

According to North Carolina laws, an employer may be ordered by the court to withhold a portion of your wages and pay your seized wages to satisfy a debt owed to a creditor. This process is known as wage garnishment. In the state of North Carolina, wage garnishment can be permitted under very limited circumstances and is not allowed unless ordered by a court or a government agency.

Your wages may be garnished without a court order to satisfy the following debts:

  • Unpaid back taxes
  • Court-ordered child support or child support debt
  • Unpaid student loans

Creditors will be allowed to garnish up to 25% of your disposable income that is leftover after mandatory deductions. If your disposable income is less than 30 times the federal minimum wage, your wages cannot be garnished at all.

Contact a Charlotte Bankruptcy Lawyer

If you are interested in filing for bankruptcy protection to stop a wage garnishment in the Charlotte metropolitan area, contact Schwilm Law Firm, PLLC for your free initial consultation.

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