An unpaid debt that could be the subject of a wage garnishment can include credit card debt, unpaid taxes or a civil judgment. A creditor can collect on an outstanding debt by suing you in court or seeking an order for wage garnishment. To garnish your wages, your creditor must provide you with 15-day notice of the garnishment action. The creditor must notify your employer after receiving an order for wage garnishment. Depending on the characteristic of your debt, your employer will withhold a percentage of your income from your paycheck to pay your creditor. In Ohio, creditors can garnish every check you receive.
There are several ways to stop wage garnishment. In Ohio, the statute of limitations for a creditor to file an action to recover the debt is 6 years for an oral contract and an open account like a credit card. The statute of limitations for a written contract is 15 years from the date the contract was executed. Therefore if the creditor files an action against you after the expiration of the relevant statute of limitations, the creditor will not be able to garnish your wages.
Filing a bankruptcy petition can stop wage garnishment. If your wages have not been garnished before the filing of your bankruptcy petition, subsequently filing for bankruptcy will prevent the garnishment. If the wage garnishment has already begun, it will stop immediately after you file your bankruptcy petition. However, bankruptcy’s automatic stay will not prevent wage garnishment for child support or domestic support debts.
If your wages are being garnished, contact an experienced attorney in Ohio as soon as possible. An attorney can help you stop garnishment of your paycheck.