Accessing the assistance of a wage garnishment lawyer is the best method of insuring that the most effective steps are taken to stop wage garnishment in the Utah. Stopping a court ordered writ of wage garnishment in Utah begins with a review the source of the debt that gave rise to the writ. Wage garnishment may be ordered to recover child support, spousal support, civil judgment debt, State or federal tax debt, student loan debt and criminal penalty debt arising from conviction of a crime. There are three basic options that might effectively stop the wage garnishment and those are, appeal the writ, file for bankruptcy and negotiate a payoff.
In Utah $ 142.50 of the wage-earner’s net weekly earnings is exempt from garnishment by a creditor. If the writ of garnishment allows a creditor to take any portion of the statutorily exempted wages then the writ may be unlawful and it should be appealed by claiming the statutory exemption.
Filing a personal bankruptcy under Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 may work to stop the garnishment of wages depending on the type of debt that invoked the garnishment. Some types of debt such as garnishments to access funds for child support or spousal support may not be affected by filing for bankruptcy. The State of Utah does not allow the application of the federal bankruptcy code exemptions regarding a wage garnishment in bankruptcy but instead uses federal non-bankruptcy wage garnishment exemptions. Use of the federal non-bankruptcy exemptions in a State bankruptcy filing is an option in most States but is required in Utah. Seventy five percent of earned but unpaid debtor wages is exempt from creditors and that is the same wage amount exempted by the federal bankruptcy code.
Negotiating a debt pay down by effecting an agreement between the creditor and the debtor wage earner is a great option to resolve a wage garnishment problem. A lawyer may be able to mediate an agreement that would stop the wage garnishment and allow the debtor to pay down the debt over time by installment payments or to settle the debt out entirely for a reduced amount.