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ˈɡärniSHmənt/
noun: garnishment; plural noun: garnishments
 
 
A court order directing that money or property of a third party (usually wages paid by an employer) be seized to satisfy a debt owed by a debtor to a plaintiff creditor.
 
 
 
 

A garnishment is an order from a court to someone, usually your employer,  withhold funds from you and deliver them instead to the court.  The court will then turn over the money to a creditor who has obtained a judgment against you.  Before most garnishments can be issued, the creditor must have obtained a judgment against you, by first issuing a Warrant in Debt.

If the judgment creditor finds out where you work or where you bank, the creditor can issue a Garnishment Summons to your employer or your bank.  The Garnishment Summons requires that your employer or bank to take YOUR  money and deliver it to the court.

You are entitled to ask for a hearing to determine if some or all of your money is exempt from garnishment.  Unless the garnishment is stopped by the court, it will continue until the hearing date noticed on the summons.  Worse, once that garnishment ends, the judgment creditor can immediately start the whole process over by issuing another Garnishment Summons. 

Garnishments can continue until the entire judgment debt is paid, but the problem for most people is that the judgment interest and the costs of the garnishment mean that the balance owed keeps increasing even while the garnishment is in effect.

In Virginia, judgment creditors can garnish up to 25% of your wages and usually ALL of your bank account balances!

There is good news, though!  A bankruptcy filing provides immediate relief!  It stops garnishments on the spot.  Even better, if you act quickly enough, we can usually get your garnished money back for you! So if you are being garnished, call our office NOW at 434-845-4529 to schedule a free consultation.  Do not wait - once the court releases the money to the creditor, it will usually be too late to get it back for you.  We have helped thousands of clients take charge of their finances.  You need an experienced bankruptcy lawyer on your side!  The right bankruptcy attorney can make all the difference!