A creditor may be able to garnish your wages to collect a debt, depending on where you lived at the time you took on the debt. Typically, in North Carolina and South Carolina, creditors have only three years to file a lawsuit to collect debts. Each state also sets different rules about which types of debts can lead to wage garnishment.
You can hire a bankruptcy lawyer to help you manage your debts and to protect you against creditors who seek to illegally garnish your wages.
Debt Collection and Wage Garnishment in North Carolina
According to N.C.G.S. § 1-52 (1), creditors generally have three years to file a lawsuit against a debtor. When a creditor obtains a money judgment from a North Carolina court, wage garnishment is not available to collect. However a North Carolina resident may be subject to wage garnishment if the debt was accrued in a different state. In most situations there are limits on how much of your income can be garnished, which is typically 25% of your income.
Creditors may not have to seek a court order to garnish wages for certain types of debt, including:
- Unpaid taxes
- Federal student loans
- Child support
- Unemployment benefit overpayments
- Ambulatory care in certain counties
For a legal consultation with a lawyer serving North Carolina and South Carolina, call 828.286.3866
Debt Collection and Wage Garnishment in South Carolina
Similar to North Carolina’s wage garnishment laws, South Carolina does not allow creditors to garnish wages for consumer debts, such as credit card debt, auto loans, cash advances, and rental or lease agreements, according to S.C. Code Ann. § 37-5-104. Again, a South Carolina resident may be subject to wage garnishment if the debt was accrued in a different state
Creditors may not have to seek a court order to garnish your wages for certain debts, such as:
- Unpaid taxes
- Federal student loans
- Child support
Under S.C. Ann § 15-3-530, creditors must file a lawsuit against a debtor within three years.
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You Have Options If You Are Facing a Debt Collector
You may feel helpless if you received a court order to repay your debt, especially if a creditor attempts to garnish your wages. You should know that you have options to manage your debt, and a lawyer can help you explore them.
You May Be Able to Negotiate Payments on Your Debt
Before a lender hires a collection agency, you can try to negotiate payments to pay off your debt. In some cases, debt collectors will even negotiate payments with you.
The best thing you can do is contact your creditors or lenders as soon as possible to work out an affordable payment plan. Our legal team can help you do this.
You May Be Able to Consolidate Your Debt
If you have outstanding debts with numerous creditors or lenders, you may be able to take out a loan to cover them all. This way, you will only have to pay one lender, and it can make it easier for you to dial down your overall debt.
You May Be Able to File for Bankruptcy
In some cases, filing for bankruptcy can help debtors eliminate certain debts entirely. There are different types of bankruptcy you can file for, and it all depends on the type of debt you have.
For example, declaring Chapter 7 bankruptcy may help if you face consumer debt, such as credit card debt, and you have no way of paying it off. It is often possible to retain your home and vehicle under this Chapter. Chapter 13 bankruptcy allows you to develop a plan to pay off a portion of your debt over time. Either way, some debts are unavoidable, such as child support.
Filing for bankruptcy can also negatively affect your credit score. You should weigh the pros and cons of different strategies to tackle debt before committing to one. Our legal team can look into your debt and finances to determine the best path forward for you.
Facing a Creditor Can Be Overwhelming and Exhausting
When a lender sends your debts to a collection agency, creditors will usually begin to contact you relentlessly. You may feel stressed out over the whole process, but the sooner you create a solution, the sooner you can get relief from constant calls and emails.
You don’t have to face a creditor alone. When you hire a bankruptcy attorney, they can act as your representative and handle all communications with creditors. This way, you can get some peace of mind, knowing that you have taken action to address the situation.
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How a Bankruptcy Lawyer Can Help
Filing for bankruptcy is not a simple process. There is an ample amount of paperwork involved, and the process can take some time. Our law firm is here to help, though. When we take on your case, we can help by:
- Reviewing your options and selecting the appropriate bankruptcy Chapter
- Submit bankruptcy forms to the court
- Holding creditors accountable for proper notifications
- Relieving you of having to speak with debt collectors
- Explaining which of your assets apply in a bankruptcy case
- Exploring any possible bankruptcy-related tax consequences
Our Bankruptcy Lawyers Offer Client-Focused Legal Care
We understand that bankruptcy is a complicated process, and you want to make sure you have all the information you need when considering it, file for the right Chapter, and get relief from creditors. Our firm knows that no two cases are the same.
We promise never to apply a cookie-cutter approach to your case or treat it as just another case file on a desk. We will individualize our legal strategy to suit your unique needs. We will also make sure that you can get the answers you need as questions and concerns arise. You can reach out to us for updates on your case anytime.
Call Farmer & Morris Law, PLLC, If a Creditor Is Threatening Wage Garnishment
Farmer & Morris Law, PLLC, can handle your case so that you can get back to focusing on your family and your career. Call us today for a free consultation.