When They Want to Garnish Your Wages
When creditors take legal against you, the situation may feel overwhelming. By filing bankruptcy you can automatically put a stop to collection calls, wage garnishments, pending court dates, foreclosure and repossessions. To find out how, call the Skrupa Law Office, LLC at (402) 571-2900 (Omaha) or (402) 464-3311 (Lincoln).
What Can My Creditors Do to Me?
When you owe money to a creditor, they may take legal action. Your creditors may get a judgment against you in state court. They have to sue you first, they just can't seize funds
- Wage garnishment: Wage garnishment (sometimes called payroll garnishment) starts with a court order that forces your employer to take out 15 - 25% of your wages after taxes and give that percentage to your creditors. Certain things affect the amount they can take out, including your status as head of household.
- Garnishment of your checking or savings account: Creditors may also get a court order to take owed money out of a checking or savings account. Because your bank account is not covered by state law exemptions, creditors often pursue this route.
- Liens: Creditors may also put a lien on your house so that they get a portion of the eventual sale price. This is what is called a Sherriff's Sale. A Judicial Lien is an encumbrance on property, issued on real estate or personal property and is issued by a Judge.
- Seizure of non-exempt property: They can also send the sheriff out to seize any non-exempt property, although much of your property is safe from creditors. State law exemptions cover clothing, your wedding ring, your pension, your retirement and your home.
- Complaint (originates mostly in County Court) – this is the first step in obtaining a judgment against you. The Creditor files a document with the Court called a Complaint. The Creditor is the Plaintiff, and you are the Defendant.
You typically have 30 days to file a written answer, either a detailed response, or a general denial -- -- Most people don’t answer! -- they get to the second page (fist page after the Complaint cover sheet) they see who is suing them and for what, (example: your credit card company) and they don’t bother filing an answer with the Court! They figure that (a) what’s the point in answering, they already know they owe the bill, or (b) If they ignore the complaint, maybe it’ll just go away! If you don’t file an answer the court will issue a Default judgment. You'll get a postcard in the mail informing that you "lost" your case; You didn't even answer! Once the judgment has been entered in, the creditor can now take action against you. If you do file a written response then the creditor will issue you interrogatories.
- Interrogatories: Written questions issued by your creditor and served on you. You must provide written answers under oath; its what’s called a discovery procedure in preparation for a trial. The creditor will review the answers you provide. If it appears from your answers that you “really” owe the debt and that you’re just “stalling” the Creditor /Plaintiff will ask the Court for a summary judgment.
- Summary Judgment: A judge will issue a summary judgment against you if after careful review of the interrogatories, it appears that there is no material issue as to fact. In other words the Judge is ruling against you (without a trial) that you do indeed owe the debt.
Sheriff: An officer of a county, chosen by popular election, whose principal duties are aid of criminal and civil courts; chief preserver of peace; serves processes, summons juries, executes judgments, and holds judicial sales.
A side note:
NEBRASKA’S COUNTY COURTS serve the citizens of each of the state’s 93 counties.
The jurisdiction of the county court is established by state law which provides for exclusive original jurisdiction in probate matters, actions based on a violation of a city or village ordinance, juvenile court matters without a separate juvenile court, adoptions, preliminary hearings in felony cases, and eminent domain proceedings. The county courts have concurrent jurisdiction in civil matters when the amount in controversy is $52,000 or less, criminal matters classified as misdemeanors or infractions, some domestic relations matters, and paternity actions. County judges also hear all small claims matters filed within the court system. County judges in all counties except Lancaster, Douglas and Sarpy have the same duties as judges of separate juvenile courts. Appeals from the county court are made to the district court, although in certain probate and juvenile cases, appeals are made directly to the Court of Appeals.
Our Nebraska law firm also helps people facing IRS wage garnishment. We have a great deal of experience related to bankruptcy and the IRS. Using in-depth knowledge and skills, our lawyers can help you negotiate with the IRS to discharge your tax debts through bankruptcy.
Call Us Today for an Appointment
Filing for bankruptcy can end wage garnishment and help you get the debt relief you need. To find out more, talk with an attorney at Skrupa Law Office, LLC. Contact us by calling our Omaha law office at(402) 571-2900 or our Lincoln law office at (402) 464-3311.