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Home / Debt / Can Credit Counseling Stop Wage Garnishment?


If there is already a court order for a wage garnishment in place, then no, credit counseling cannot stop a wage garnishment. On the other hand, if you are only being faced with a wage garnishment, but no order is in place, credit counseling may convince a creditor to not pursue a garnishment.

Why Credit Counseling Does Not Stop Garnishment

The reason is simple, the court order allowing the garnishment states an exact amount that must be paid prior to the lifting of the garnishment. Until that amount is satisfied, nothing can stop the garnishment. Even if you change jobs, the garnishment will follow you as soon as the creditor tracks you down.

So, if the only way to stop a garnishment is to satisfy the debt, what are your options? The first is a debt consolidation loan, as long as you pay the outstanding balance in full. The agency collecting the debt will be able to provide you with an exact pay off, so you know how much to borrow. A second option may be to obtain a loan from your 401(k).

What Can Credit Counseling Do About A Wage Garnishment?

At best, a credit counseling agency can contact your creditors. During these conversations, the counselor assigned to your case will explain that you are using their program and then offer to either settle the debt for a lesser amount(only if you have enough cash) or try to reach a payment schedule that will prevent the company from obtaining a court order.

You can make all of the same phone calls that a credit counseling agent does. Credit counseling agencies do not have any more ability to settle your debts or make payment arrangements than you do. You will have to have a payment plan ready before you make the first phone call and be ready to stand your ground. If you can not arrange a mutually satisfactory payment schedule, then you will want to be sure to appear the day the wage garnishment is being considered by the court.

Why Appear?

The law requires that you are notified of the court date that your wage garnishment is being considered. Be sure to appear that day. Take copies of all of your debts, including monthly bills, loan payments, etc. If you prove to the court that you can not afford a wage garnishment, the request will be denied. Even if it is ordered, it may not be for the amount your creditor is requesting, helping you to stay afloat financially.


About the author: Jerry Coffey


Jerry Coffey spent many years in a debt-riddled gray area somewhere between broke and desperately broke. His seemingly endless need for more and more cash led him to payday loans, repossessions, bankruptcy, and depression. After years of the same financial style, he heard a piece of advice that inspired him to find a way to change. The advice: ''The very definition of a fool is someone who continues to do the same things, but expects different results.'' This led him to a much more frugal lifestyle that sees all of his bills paid on time and a growing savings account. Even the seed of a retirement account has begun to sprout.


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