Individuals who have fallen behind on repaying debt are often concerned about whether their income can be garnished. Other individuals are facing wage garnishment to repay back child support, tax debt or certain other debts which can be attached to wages. It is important to understand Texas and federal wage garnishment laws and how these laws may be applied in your situation.
Houston bankruptcy lawyer Liza A. Greene offers more than three decades of experience in helping individuals in greater Houston, Texas, and Harris County resolve debt problems. As an attorney who is Board Certified in Consumer Bankruptcy Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization,* she is highly regarded in the legal community and is trusted by clients.
Can Creditors Garnish My Wages?
In Texas, very few creditors have the authority to garnish wages. Under state and federal laws, you may face wage garnishment if you fall behind on child support or spousal support, or if you owe significant tax debt. Absent a legal judgment authorizing garnishment of your wages, most third party creditors — such as credit card companies, medical providers or other unsecured creditors — cannot garnish your wages.
Filing for bankruptcy may be an option for some individuals to stop wage garnishment and other attempts by creditors to collect debt. Specifically, a Chapter 13 bankruptcy may enable a debtor to:
- Stop wage garnishments by the IRS
- Consolidate tax debt into a Chapter 13 repayment plan
- Discharge certain outdated tax liabilities
- Consolidate back child support into a Chapter 13 repayment plan
- Stop out-of-state payroll garnishments
- Consolidate all other debt into a Chapter 13 repayment plan
Chapter 13 bankruptcy cannot discharge an individual’s responsibility to pay child support or spousal support/alimony. Therefore, if your wages are garnished in order to ensure the regular payment of support, this form of garnishment cannot be stopped through a bankruptcy filing. While regular garnishments cannot be discontinued for this purpose, back support may be consolidated into a repayment plan depending on your situation. Any continued wage garnishments will be taken into consideration as a reasonable expense when formulating your Chapter 13 repayment plan.
In sum, Chapter 13 bankruptcy enables individuals to catch up on delinquent debt and regain control of their finances — without the added burdens of creditor involvement throughout the process.
Contact Texas Lawyer Liza A. Greene
Individuals can expect to receive honest, straightforward answers, regular updates and compassionate guidance throughout the legal process. Contact us by calling 713-574-7952, to arrange an appointment to discuss your financial situation.