LegalYou: Writ of Garnishment

This is probably a shock to no one but creditors like collecting money they are owed and if a debtor doesn’t have any immediate means of paying back a debt, the creditor may attempt to gain court permission to collect money in a more indirect way. One of these ways is called a writ of garnishment. A writ of garnishment is a court order requiring a third party to hold the property or assets of a debtor for the benefit of the creditor. The third party, also known as a garnishee, can be something like the company you work for or your bank.

Although the writ gives the creditor the right to collect wages, accounts and the like, There is still maybe something you can do. For example, some types of accounts such as joint accounts may be exempt. You can challenge such a garnishment with the claim of exemption using a form that must be provided to you by the creditor along with the writ of garnishment. This form allows you to potentially spare certain funds from collection because the law exempts them from garnishment.

For example, if you are head of household your wages could be exempt because they are necessary for your family’s well-being. Once you file the claim the creditor has only three days to contest the exemption under oath. If they failed to do so in that time you can use that against them in the claim of exemption hearing to eliminate the garnishment. Remember, an exemption is never automatic no matter how eligible you may be. You still must make the claim of exemption and then prove to the court by presenting evidence that you deserve it. And there’s often more options than what may be listed on a claim of exemption.

To optimize your choices in delicate matters such as these, turn to LegalYou. We’re there to help you navigate the rough seas of collection to get you to daylight.

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