Wage Garnishment Attorney in Albuquerque, New Mexico
Owing student loans, alimony, child support, back taxes, or any kind of debt may result in wage garnishment. This is one of the many different tools through which creditors are able to recover debts, unpaid loans, and past-due payments from their debtors. The creditor will seek a money judgment from the court asking your employer to garnish your wages (withhold your income to pay the debts). If your wages have been garnished and you want to understand your rights, consulting with an experienced New Mexico bankruptcy attorney is crucial for proper guidance.
At the Law Office of Jason Cline, I have the diligence, skills, and resources to advise, guide, and represent individuals in legal matters of bankruptcy and wage garnishment. I'm available to discuss your unique situation, help you understand the consequences of a wage garnishment, and explore your options to stop it. Using my extensive experience, I will fight vigorously to protect your rights, terminate any wage garnishments, and help negotiate a feasible repayment arrangement with your creditors.
My firm – the Law Office of Jason Cline – proudly serves clients across Albuquerque, Rio Rancho, Santa Fe, Los Lunas, or anywhere throughout the state of New Mexico.
Understanding Wage Garnishment
Wage garnishment, also known as wage attachment, is a court order that requires your employer to withhold a certain amount of your income or paycheck. The deducted amount will be sent directly to your creditor to pay your credit card loans, back taxes, medical bills, domestic support obligations, such as alimony or child support, as well as any other outstanding debts. Your employer will continue withholding part of your wages until you settle your debts fully.
Debt Eligible for Garnishment
Only certain kinds of debts are eligible for wage garnishment. These include:
Child support payments
Alimony or spousal support payments
Federal student loans
State income taxes or past-due taxes
Credit cards loans and other consumer debts
However, a creditor cannot seize all of your income. An experienced attorney can enlighten you about the debts that are eligible for wage garnishment and the amount that your employer can withhold.
How Much Can Be Garnished?
Under New Mexico law, the maximum amount that can be garnished from your wages is the lesser of:
25% of your disposable earnings, or
The amount by which your weekly disposable earnings exceed 40 times the federal hourly minimum wage
Limits for Unpaid Child Support & Alimony
Under federal law, your creditor can garnish:
Up to 50% of your disposable income if you are supporting another spouse or child
Up to 60% of your disposable income if you are not
Limits for Federal Student Loans
For borrowers who default on their federal student loans, the U.S. Department of Education or any entity collecting on behalf of the agency can garnish:
Up to 15% of your income
Limits for Past-Due Taxes
If you owe back taxes, the federal government can garnish:
Up to 15% of your disposable earnings
A knowledgeable wage garnishment attorney can help you understand the amount that can be garnished and specific laws addressing wage garnishment in New Mexico.
Title III of the Consumer Credit Protection Act (CCPA)
Here are some important wage garnishment provisions of the Consumer Credit Protection Act (CCPA):
An employer is prohibited from discharging an employee whose wages have been garnished due to any one debt.
There is a limit on the amount of an employee's income that may be subject to wage garnishment within a week.
An employee whose wages have been garnished for a second or subsequent debt is not protected from discharge under Title III.
Like some other states, New Mexico follows federal law regarding wage garnishment. An experienced attorney can enlighten you about your rights and explore your possible options to stop the wage garnishment.
How to Stop Wage Garnishment
With a certain portion of your wages garnished, you can find it challenging to cater to your financial needs. Here are some possible options to stop wage garnishment.
Fight the Garnishment
You can fight a wage garnishment order by filing a petition or claim of exemption with the New Mexico court.
Negotiate a Payment Plan
You can reach out to your creditor to negotiate a feasible repayment plan through which you can settle your debt.
File for Bankruptcy
Filing a bankruptcy petition can help stop wage garnishment and wipe out some of your unsecured debt. Once you file for bankruptcy, the "automatic stay" goes into effect. This is a federal court injunction that prevents creditors from collecting debts, harassing you, or garnishing your wages. However, you still have to pay domestic support obligations, such as alimony and child support. If you're considering filing for bankruptcy in New Mexico, an experienced attorney can evaluate your available legal options and determine the ideal bankruptcy chapter for your unique financial situation.
How Legal Counsel Can Help
If you owe child support, alimony, medical bills, credit card loans, or back taxes, your wages may be garnished. Nevertheless, you should never accept a decision to withhold a certain portion of your paycheck without a fight. If you are in debt and being threatened with wage garnishment or if your wages have already been garnished, you need to retain a skilled bankruptcy attorney to protect your rights and help fight the garnishment.
At the Law Office of Jason Cline, I'm committed to providing outstanding legal services and protecting the rights of clients facing legal matters involving wage garnishment and debt relief. As your legal counsel, I can review your unique situation and outline a strategic plan to help you achieve debt relief while mitigating wage garnishment. Also, I will help fight the garnishment and reach out to your creditors on your behalf to negotiate a satisfactory debt resolution plan that will help you achieve financial relief.
Wage Garnishment Attorney Serving Albuquerque, New Mexico
If your wages have been garnished and you want to understand your rights, call my firm – the Law Office of Jason Cline – today for a simple consultation. I can offer you the detailed legal counsel and reliable advocacy you need to stop the wage garnishment. My firm proudly serves clients across Albuquerque, Rio Rancho, Santa Fe, Los Lunas, or anywhere throughout the state of New Mexico.