Stop Wage Garnishment in Utah

Stop Wage Garnishment in Utah

Learn How to Stop Wage Garnishment in Utah

Updated for 2020 The Utah Court system allows for creditors to collect on unpaid debts through what is known as wage garnishment or a writ of garnishment. The amount of money that’s withdrawn from your check can be up to 25% of your wages and even up to 50% in some instances. If your wages are being garnished or if you’ve been threatened with garnishment actions, Start Fresh Utah can help. We are able to stop creditors from taking your hard earned wages. If you qualify, we’re also able to eliminate certain debts. Most people who become late on their debts do so because they can’t afford to pay their bills in the first place. To have the court system take an additional 25% of their earning can really be a huge financial setback, not to mention socially embarrassing. Get answers to the most frequently asked garnishment question.

How Wage Garnishment Works

Creditors file a writ of garnishment with the Utah Courts, which allows them to have an employer hold a portion of wages to satisfy a debt. Once the creditor has obtained a court judgment, they can start the process of collecting on a debt. The employer is forced to hold a portion of earnings, then forward those earning on to the creditor. Some organizations don’t need to go through the courts system. Debts that involve student loans, taxes, and child support payments don’t need a court judgment to collect on a debt. With guaranteed federal student loans, the creditor will need to send a written 30 day notice to the defaulted borrower’s last known address. They can then start garnishing up to 15% of the borrower’s wages. The IRS can levy bank accounts, garnish wages and seize property and the Utah Office of Recovery Services (“ORS”) can force your employer to “withhold Income’ of up to 50% of your disposable income and under certain circumstances can seek a larger percentage as provided by Section 303(b) of the Consumer Credit Protection Act as cited in 15 U.S.C. Section 1673(b). These actions are known as administrative garnishments. The power that Congress has granted these entities can be damaging and you can suffer significant loss.  Start Fresh Utah can help guide you through these complicated and difficult situations. The best advice is to take action immediately to get the information you need to protect yourself.  No matter what, do not give up. In almost every case, making informed judgments will result in a better outcome for you. Start Fresh Utah is here to help.

What Creditors Must Prove in Utah to Get a Judgment

Creditors must provide the Utah courts with specific information in order to receive a court judgment. Following is the information that they will need to provide:

  1. They must prove that you are legally indebted to their company.
  2. They must provide a contract showing your agreement to pay.
  3. The payment of the claim cannot be secured by a lien upon a property in Utah.
  4. They must show that you have the creditor’s property.

Employer Garnishment Requirements – Writ of Garnishment

An Employer is not required by law to notify an employee that they have been served a Writ of Garnishment.  However, most employers have policies and procedures in place that are followed when a notice of wage garnishment is received.  Most of the time, the employer will notify the employee in writing that it has received a wage garnishment notice and provide the employee with a copy of the paperwork.  The paperwork will give the employee all of the information needed to get more details directly from the creditor or the collection agency. Your employer is obligated by law to follow the Writ of Garnishment and faces significant legal consequences if they do not proceed with the garnishment.  To avoid liability, the employer is unlikely to give you advice on how to deal with the garnishment. Get help at Start Fresh Utah. We can provide guidance as to how you can Stop the Wage Garnishment. Before your wages can be garnished most creditors must obtain a court order that states that you owe them money.  You must be sued by the creditor and the creditor must obtain a final judgment from a court of competent jurisdiction.  With the final judgment, that creditor is referred to as a “judgment creditor” and has the legal right to take action to collect the amount you owe the creditor set out in the court ordered judgment.  In Utah, the creditor has the right to collect on its judgment by garnishing wages, levying a bank account, seizing personal property and/or placing a lien on real property. Most judgment creditors will attempt to garnish your wages by delivering a writ of garnishment to your employer via certified mail or personal delivery.  Because employers face significant penalties for delaying on processing the writ of garnishment, they will act quickly to begin the garnishment of your wages. Be aware that there are certain types of debts that do not require a court ordered judgment for collection, including: unpaid income taxes, court ordered child support or child support arrearages and unpaid federal student loan debt.  Start Fresh Utah can help if you are struggling with garnishment or other debt problems. Get help now at our Debt Help Hotline.

Can I Get Fired Due To Wage Garnishment?

Pursuant to Title III of the federal Consumer Credit Protection Act (“CCPA”) an employer in Utah is prohibited from terminating or taking disciplinary action against an employee if the employee has a single wage garnishment.  However, these protections do not apply to an employee with multiple wage garnishments. If your employer has threatened to terminate your employment or has taken disciplinary action against you, contact Start Fresh Utah for assistance.

Does Avoiding the Constable Stop a Wage Garnishment?

A creditor in Utah can obtain a Writ of Execution from the court as a means of seizing personal property from a debtor that can be liquidated at auction and the proceeds of the sale applied against the debt due the creditor.  This is not technically a garnishment, but is a legitimate collection method. The creditor must apply to the court for a Writ of Execution in order to seize your personal or real property. The Writ of Execution is a legal document that will be served on you by a Sheriff or Constable.   If you believe that a Sheriff or Constable is attempting to serve you with legal documents, get help from Start Fresh Utah now. We can give you some guidance. Many have asked if they avoid the service (or delivery) of the Writ of Execution paperwork by the Sheriff or Constable, will they be able to dodge having their personal property seized.  Generally, avoiding service of process is a nuisance and ineffective. Eventually, the Sheriff or Constable will make service and, if you have made it difficult for them, they will be less likely to work with you.  Most often the Sheriff or Constable will be easy to work with and can set up a payment plan. More important, however, is that debtors are not aware that there is a long list of property that is deemed exempt from seizure so it is in your best interest to get the Writ of Execution and work with the Sheriff or Constable.  Also, if you file a petition in bankruptcy the Writ of Execution will be avoided.  Start Fresh Utah can provide you with information regarding these matters and how you can Stop Wage Garnishment, just use our Debt Help Hotline.

What You Can Do to Stop Wage Garnishment

We all make financial mistakes, so once you’ve accepted that, you should put aside any feelings of guilt or remorse and fight these companies with tactics from their own game plan.  Most creditors are willing to work with debtors to find a solution to help them get back on track and repay their debts.  If you are falling behind on payments to a creditor it is generally in your best interest to communicate with the creditor and attempt to restructure the debt or negotiate a payment arrangement.  Do not ignore notices from a creditor. It is in the best interest for both parties to find a reasonable repayment plan before your account becomes seriously delinquent. Most creditors will make several attempts to contact you to establish a repayment arrangement prior to charging off the account and sending it to collections.  Even if your debt is charged off by the creditor and it is sent to collections, you can still negotiate a payment arrangement. In fact, many collection agencies will establish a payment plan so they do not have to escalate the collection process. You may want to consider Consumer Credit Counseling services or retaining a debt settlement company if you have several delinquent debts.  However, it is important that you do research prior to using these options. One of the best ways to stop wage garnishment is to file for bankruptcy. Bankruptcy not only stops wage garnishment, it can also eliminate certain debts. Additionally, filing for bankruptcy stops creditors from harassing you or your employer. For individuals, there are two different options to file for bankruptcy, either a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy or a Chapter 13 bankruptcy. With a Chapter 7 bankruptcy the debtor, the person filing for bankruptcy, can completely eliminate certain types of debts like credit card debts and hospital debts.  Not everyone can qualify for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy and must use the Chapter 13 bankruptcy where the courts can reduce overall monthly payments into one low manageable payment, while eliminating some unsecured debts. A Chapter 13 bankruptcy applies to people who have more income and assets than someone filing for Chapter 7. They are still eligible to have their debt payments reduced and consolidated into one low manageable payment, but they are not necessarily eligible for debt elimination. Secured debts are debts with some type of asset pledged as a security for the debt like cars and homes. The Chapter 13 helps debtors retain their assets and establish a payment plan under the protection of the bankruptcy laws. A Chapter 13 payment plan can be the most effective and economical way to repay your debts.  Start Fresh Utah can help you determine whether a bankruptcy is a solution that feels right for you.  Start Fresh Utah can assist you with you bankruptcy options. 

Utah State Wage Garnishment Protections

Utah state has established what they consider protections against excessive wage garnishment. These protections are ineffective, and they reflect the power of corporate lobbyists rather than concerned governance. According to 15 U.S.C. §1673, Utah Code 70C-7-103, and Rule 64D of the Utah Rules of Civil Procedure, creditors can collect up to 25% of a person’s wages per week. The statutes will not allow creditors to collect, on a weekly basis, over 30 times the minimum wage. The Federal minimum wage is currently $7.25, so that means that a creditor is prohibited from  weekly garnishments exceeding $217.50 or $870 a month. This is akin to being given the liberty to choose between which type of execution you would prefer. None of the options are preferable. Here’s another example of why you need to fight for your rights as a consumer. Utah state has made it possible for a creditor to garnish up to 25% of your income after all of the Utah taxes have been deducted first. They’re not allowing for the garnishment first, followed by state taxes. This option would have decreased their revenues, and we all know that it would really be unfair for the state government to try and live off of less revenue. If you are experiencing creditor harassment or are threatened with wage garnishment, let Start Fresh Utah help. We can provide you with debt relief and help you to get a fresh start in life. Just give us five minutes of your time.

Getting Help to Legally Stop Wage Garnishment

Start Fresh Utah can help you with Legally Stopping Wage Garnishment. The most important thing you can do is arm yourself with good information. Remember that a wage garnishment begins before you see the effects on your paystub and does not stop until the garnishment is paid in full or you have taken legal actions to make it stop. Start Fresh Utah’s legal team has been helping people stop garnishments for over a decade. Give us a call, learn your options. Get the help you need now at Start Fresh Utah.

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