Facing a garnishment can be a stressful and overwhelming experience, but it’s essential to remember that you have rights and options to protect your income. In Alabama, garnishment laws exist to regulate the process, and understanding them can help you navigate this challenging situation. Here are some crucial steps to take if you find yourself facing a garnishment:
Seek legal advice: Contact an attorney who is knowledgeable about Alabama garnishment laws. They can provide personalized guidance based on your circumstances and help you determine the best course of action.
Review the garnishment order: Carefully examine the garnishment order or notice you received. Ensure that it complies with Alabama law and that all necessary steps were followed. Mistakes in the garnishment process could potentially invalidate the order.
Challenge the garnishment: If you believe the garnishment is improper or there are valid reasons to challenge it, you may need to take legal action. Your attorney can assist you in preparing the necessary documentation and filling the appropriate motions with the court.
File for exemptions: In Alabama, certain types of income are exempt from garnishment, such as Social Security benefits, retirement income, and certain public assistance benefits. If your income falls under one of these categories, you may be able to claim an exemption. In addition, you are able to exempt up to $1,000.00 per paycheck from garnishments under the Alabama Constitution. Consult with your attorney to understand which exemptions may apply to your situation and how to properly claim them.
Negotiate a settlement: In some cases, it may be possible to negotiate a settlement with the creditor to stop the garnishment. This could involve reaching an agreement on an alternative payment arrangement or a lump-sum payment to satisfy the debt. An attorney can help you negotiate with the creditor and work towards a resolution.
Understand the laws: Familiarize yourself with Alabama’s garnishment laws, which can be found in the Code of Alabama, Title 6, Chapter 6. This will give you an overview of the rules and limitations surrounding garnishments.
File a Bankruptcy: Either Chapter 13 or a Chapter 7 bankruptcy will stop a garnishment. In addition to stopping the garnishment you may be able to recover the amount taken out in the last 90 days if the amount collected is over $600.00. You will need to discuss this with an attorney.
Facing a garnishment can be a challenging and complex situation, but with the right knowledge and legal guidance, you can take steps to protect your income and financial well-being. Remember to seek legal advice, understand your rights, and explore all available options to find the best resolution for your circumstances. Call Alabama Consumer Law Group to help you find a resolution for your financial security.