Stopping Wage Garnishment in Washington

Determining the best method to stop a writ of wage garnishment ordered by a court in the State of Washington begins with reviewing the source of the underlying debt.  Courts order wage garnishment as a result of debt arising under circumstances such as 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.  Accessing the assistance of a wage garnishment lawyer is always the best method of insuring that the most effective steps are taken to stop a writ of wage garnishment in the State of Washington.   

File an Appeal of the Writ of Garnishment

Washington exempts seventy five percent to the wage-earner’s net earnings from garnishment by a creditor.  If the writ allows a creditor to take more than twenty five percent of your earnings then it may be an unlawful garnishment and action should be taken to appeal the writ based on a claim of statutory exemptions.  Washington also allows a wage-earner to claim an exemption based on a calculation of forty times the current, hourly, federal minimum wage amount if that total exemption amount is greater than the seventy five percent of net earnings amount.   

File for Bankruptcy in State or Federal Court

Filing a personal bankruptcy under Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 may work to stop the garnishment of wages depending on the type of debt at issue.  Some types of debt such as garnishments for such funds providing child support or spousal support may not be affected or discharged by a bankruptcy.  State of Washington bankruptcy code protects seventy five percent of earned but unpaid wages from creditor garnishment or same amount protected by general State garnishment regulations.

Negotiate a Debt Pay Off 

Pay down the debt by effecting an agreement with the creditor may be another option to resolve the wage garnishment problem.  A lawyer may be able to negotiate an agreement between the debtor and creditor that would stop the wage garnishment and allow the debtor to pay down the debt over time in reasonable installments or settle the debt out for a reduced amount.

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