Sacramento Wage Garnishment Attorneys
Protecting Your Rights in Placer and El Dorado Counties
Understanding wage garnishment, and your rights under state and federal law, is critical if you are dealing with debt. The government has put in place a number of laws designed to protect you from creditors who are being overly aggressive and violating your rights. Our lawyers at Stutz Law Office, P.C. can help you navigate these challenging issues. Our debt relief services are designed to help you reduce or stop garnishments to help you get back on your feet and on the path to a brighter financial future.
If your wages are being garnished, contact us today to schedule a free initial consultation. We offer flexible payment plans to help you find relief.
How Does Wage Garnishment Work in California?
Wage garnishment is a legal procedure where a portion of a person's earnings is withheld by an employer for the payment of a debt as per the court order or the government agency's decision. This usually happens when a debtor has been unable to meet their financial obligations. When a creditor wins a judgment, they may choose to garnish wages to recover the money owed.
Common types of debts that can lead to wage garnishment include unpaid taxes, child support, student loans, and credit card debts.
In California, a creditor must first sue the debtor and win a money judgment. The creditor can then request a wage garnishment order from the court, which is served on the debtor's employer. The employer is then legally obligated to withhold a portion of the employee's earnings and send them directly to the creditor.
However, there are limits to how much can be garnished from your wages. Under federal law, the lesser of the following can be garnished:
- 25% of your disposable earnings (earnings after mandatory deductions), or
- The amount by which your weekly income exceeds 30 times the federal minimum wage.
California law further limits this amount, allowing only the lesser of:
- 25% of your disposable earnings, or
- The amount by which your weekly income exceeds 40 times the state minimum wage.
How Can Bankruptcy Help?
Filing for bankruptcy can provide immediate relief from wage garnishment. Once a bankruptcy case is filed, an automatic stay goes into effect, which stops most collection actions, including wage garnishments.
In a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, many unsecured debts can be discharged entirely, eliminating the need for wage garnishment. In a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you can reorganize your debts and pay them over time, often at a reduced amount.
Federal and State Protections
Both federal and California law provide protections to individuals facing wage garnishment:
- Exemptions: Certain types of income, such as Social Security benefits and unemployment compensation, are generally exempt from wage garnishment.
- Anti-discrimination laws: Employers cannot fire, discipline, or refuse to hire someone because their wages are being garnished for a single debt.
- Notification requirements: Creditors must notify you before they can begin wage garnishment proceedings.
If you're facing wage garnishment, it's essential to understand your rights and options. Our Sacramento wage garnishment lawyers at Stutz Law Office, P.C. are here to help. Contact us online today or call (916) 884-2235 for a complimentary consultation.
More contentious matters of family law may require litigation to resolve. Our team at Stutz Law Office, P.C. is always ready to go to court, but we are also prepared to assist with alternative forms of dispute resolution. Your needs are our top priority, and we will tailor our approach to suit your preferences and objectives.
Our family law services in Sacramento, CA include assistance with:
- Divorce. When you and your spouse divorce, you will need to agree on issues of child custody, child support, spousal support, and the division of marital property. A divorce becomes “contested” and may require court intervention when you cannot resolve disputes involving one or more of these factors. Our firm can represent you in both contested and uncontested divorces. We are familiar with how California family courts adjudicate these matters and will fight to obtain a fair result.
- Child Custody. When determining child custody arrangements, the court will always consider what is in the child’s best interests. Absent extenuating circumstances, this generally means facilitating regular contact with both parents. The court will make decisions about physical custody (who the child lives with) as well as legal custody (who gets a say in how the child is raised). Our lawyers can work to negotiate the best possible arrangement.
- Mediation. California courts require parents to participate in a mediation session before they will decide any matter involving child custody or support. Even if mediation is not mandatory, attempting this alternate form of dispute resolution may be beneficial, as mediation tends to be faster and more cost-effective than litigation. You and your divorcing spouse will each have a chance to air your grievances, and a trained mediator will guide discussion and attempt to help find a mutually acceptable resolution. We can represent you throughout the mediation process.
- Military Divorce. Divorces involving active military service members can be especially complex. Even scheduling a divorce can be challenging if one spouse is actively deployed, and negotiating a fair child custody arrangement can be particularly difficult when one parent is abroad. Our attorneys know how to handle military divorces and can fight to protect your interests throughout the process.
- Domestic Violence. Domestic violence can be physical, emotional, sexual, or even financial. If you are accused of committing any type of domestic violence, you will need zealous representation to protect your rights and freedom. We are well-versed in this area of the law and can defend you against these serious charges.
Constant Attorney-Client Communication
We will always be transparent and establish open communication with our clients from Day 1.
Services Tailored to Your Needs
No two cases are made the same. We will always listen to your individual case and find a solution that works best for you.
At Stutz Law Office, our mission is to always put you first.
Payment Plans Available
We work with you to find a payment schedule that fits your budget.
All initial consultations are 100% complimentary.
Client Satisfaction is Our Top Priority
We are committed to a providing a client-first process. Our team is easily accessible and always willing to provide guidance and a plan that fits your needs. We encourage you to see what our clients are saying and why they chose our firm.
“My case was handled in a professional and efficient manner.”- L.B.
“Stutz Law Office is absolutely wonderful.”- C.D.
“Honest, straightforward, and work very hard for their clients.”- R.K.
“Stutz Law is the way to go.”- C.H.