If you've had a judgment entered against you in the state of Florida, you may be at risk of having your wages garnished by the creditor. Even if no judgment has been entered yet, if you've been sued on a matter of debt collection, garnishment of wages may be in your near future if you don't take action.
When creditors file a lawsuit against you to recover the payment of a debt, if they are successful, the court will award them with a judgment in their favor (essentially a piece of paper recorded in the county records telling the world that you owe money to this creditor). Although a judgment is an official finding that you owe money to a creditor, that creditor will still need to take action to actually collect that money. One of the most common methods for collecting these debts is by garnishing wages, which is authorized by Florida Statute §77.01. This means that a court may order your employer to withhold wages from you on every paycheck you earn (up to 25%) and send them straight to your creditor before you ever receive them, until the judgment is paid off. If you find yourself in a situation, where your wages are subject to garnishment, it is important to hire an attorney familiar with Chapter 77 and 222 of the Florida Statutes to defend you in these matters.
Chapter 77 lays out procedural requirements that a creditor must comply with in order to be entitled to garnishment of your wages. Chapter 222 also provides for entire exemptions from garnishment if you qualify. Depending on the amount of money you earn and hours you work, whether you provide support for dependents, or the sources of your income, you may be exempt from garnishment from your creditors. Certain classes of income are automatically exempt. If you've been garnished, we can assist you in filing for a Claim of Exemption from garnishment and working out a realistic payment solution with your creditors, as well as ensuring that your creditors have complied with all the requirements under Florida Law.
If you have a large amount of debt that leaves you feeling trapped, we can also review options with you regarding whether the filing of a Bankruptcy makes sense. If a review of your assets and debts shows that Bankruptcy is the right option for you, a bankruptcy filing can put an immediate stop to garnishment proceedings and other debt collection matters through the federal bankruptcy court's “stay” power.
With matters of garnishment, act quickly and hire a professional! You have only 20 days to file for a Claim of Exemption from the time you receive your Notice of Garnishment. Contact the Holland Law Group to hire an experienced Florida garnishment attorney to represent your interests in these matters and to help you resolve debts with your creditors. We have attorneys throughout the state that can assist you whether you're in Miami, Pinellas, Duval, Orlando, Manatee, or any other area in Florida. Call (941)-306-3601 for your consultation today!