Sadly, in my New York bankruptcy practice, the trend is that people call me AFTER they are already garnished or have a bank freeze. For some reason in my New Jersey bankruptcy office I get more people with bank freezes. They too often call me a little too late.
The good news is that usually even after a garnishment or bank freeze has started, filing bankruptcy can stop it and save your money. It is important to have a really good and caring bankruptcy lawyer. You want a bankruptcy lawyer who takes all of his or her calls. Otherwise, your case can get put to the side and you can lose even more money from the creditor actions. Our bankruptcy law office rushes these kinds of cases. We want to save as much money for our clients as possible. Sometimes, a person comes into my office with a garnishment and his case is filed one hour later! In our California bankruptcy law office this happens all the time.
Garnishment is a very common collection tactic. Garnishment can only happen after a creditor has sued you for debts owed and won and obtained a judgment. The creditor takes the judgment to the local sheriff and requests a wage garnishment. Then the sheriff sends notice to your employer.
At this stage there is nothing other than bankruptcy or negotiating with the creditor that can stop the garnishment.
Bank Freeze (called a levy) is similar. After the creditor gets a judgment against you, the creditor has the sheriff freeze your bank account. They usually wait until there is some money there. It is so sad when creditors get someone’s hard-earned pay, and leave people unable to pay rent and other bills. Again, the only way to ‘unfreeze’ the account is to file bankruptcy or settle with the creditor.
It is very helpful to your case to get started before the creditors get this far. Still, even if you don’t, bankruptcy stops these creditor actions in their tracks, instantly.
If you have questions about your risks of being garnished or having a bank levy, feel free to call me anytime. Waltzer Law Group bankruptcy attorneys are always happy to help. We even have locations and affiliates throughout New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Florida, Pennsylvania, California and other states!