Being in debt is never a fun experience, but it is one that most Americans are familiar with. Almost all adult Americans have some form of debt. Moreover, the type and severity of this debt vary from person to person, but it is a situation that bonds us whether we like it or not.
If you owe a debt to a government agency, such as the Small Business Administration, you might have an administrative wage garnishment notice sent to you. Garnishment is a legal remedy pursued by the government. If successful, they will be able to take a percentage of your paycheck each week before it gets to you.
How do you defend yourself against this type of scenario? Read on and we'll walk you through what you need to know about administrative wage garnishment cases.
How Does Administrative Wage Garnishment Work?
You might owe money to a government agency for a number of reasons. For instance, you might've taken a government backed loan out, obtained federal aid, or used government backed school loans. However, the good news is that the government cannot garnish your wages without providing you with a hearing.
In the most basic terms, garnishment is the legal process in which the government requires a third party to turn over money or property that would otherwise be owed to a debtor. In this case, the government has a portion of your wages turned over to them instead of you.
Some people believe the only way to fight wage garnishment is to declare bankruptcy but this isn't true. The law affords you defenses and tactics you can employ to fight the administrative wage garnishment process.
Objecting to Wage Garnishment
The moment you get a garnishment notice in the mail you should move to hire an experienced attorney for your case. It can be difficult to defend yourself against this disruptive legal process, but it isn't impossible with the right help on your side.
An attorney will be able to look at the facts of your case and develop the best possible strategy. As experienced attorneys, they will know the ins and outs of the law and ensure your paperwork is filed correctly and on time.
However, you only have a very limited amount of time after you receive the notice to request a hearing.
What grounds can you object to wage garnishment?
Defenses Against Wage Garnishment
If you've already paid all the money you owe the government via other means, you should certainly mention it when writing when your objection. The last thing you want is for the government to get more money than they are actually owed.
Also, you can argue that you don't owe the debt. You and your attorney will have to prove this fact.
A garnishment can be challenged because the amount claimed you owe is incorrect.
Further, you may also object to a garnishment based on the fact that it would cause a financial hardship.
If you file an object formally, you should hear from a government hearing officer within a few weeks about an official hearing. If you fail to timely file a hearing request, a garnishment order will be issued to your employer.
The hearing is a chance for you to present your evidence and arguments in favor of your defenses.
The hearing is usually done by "paper", that is, you do not have to personally appear. Your attorney submits a legal brief supported by documentation.
How to Defend Against an Administrative Wage Garnishment Notice
It's never fun to receive a garnishment notice in your mailbox.
If you do receive one, it's of the utmost importance that you respond quickly. The above information can help you to determine how to properly defend yourself against a garnishment notice and what next steps you need to take.
Need immediate help with your case? Give us a call anytime or chat with us online for assistance. We'll be able to provide a free case evaluation.