Stopping Wage Garnishment in Maryland

A wage garnishment is legal process whereby a creditor seizes a percentage the wages of a person who owes the creditor money. Most creditors may garnish a person’s wages only after obtaining a judgment against him. However, government entities and certain quasi-government entities have the right to garnish wages without first obtaining a court order. This is known as an administrative garnishment.

How Much Can Be Garnished?

How much may be garnished from a worker’s wages is governed by state law. In Maryland, the greater of 75 % or the amount equal to $145 times the number of weeks of wages due were earned are exempt from garnishment. This rule, however, does not apply to Caroline, Worchester, Kent & Queen Anne’s counties. In these counties, the federal wage exemption guidelines apply.

Does Interest Accrue on the Judgment?

When a creditor obtains a judgment, interest begins to accrue on the date the judgment is entered and continues to accrue until the judgment is paid in full. In Maryland, interest on a judgment accrues at the rate of 10% or the contract rate.

Can a Wage Garnishment be Stopped?

In Maryland, there are several ways to stop a wage garnishment. The first method is via creditor negotiation. It’s often possible to negotiate a payment plan with the creditor which allows payment of the judgment in installments over a specified period of time.

Another method of stopping the garnishment is to have the judgment set aside. State law governs the circumstances under which a judgment may be set aside. The most common reason that a judgment may be set aside is that the creditor failed to properly serve the complaint on the defendant (debtor).

Finally, bankruptcy may be used to stop wage garnishment. When a person files bankruptcy, the automatic stay which prevents collection efforts by creditors becomes effective.

Getting Legal Help

Stopping a wage garnishment is a complicated process that requires the knowledge and experience of a Maryland debt settlement attorney. A debt settlement attorney will review your case, advise you of your legal options, and work diligently to stop the wage garnishment.

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