If you are seeking information on how to stop garnishment of a bank account, understand that it will not be easy. In fact, if a creditor has already garnished your account, it may be impossible to get your money back. It is extremely important to deal with the problem before the money is gone or a creditor drains your account. Here are a few suggestions for putting the brakes on a bank account garnishment.
- Respond to a claim. Always respond to a creditor’s initial claim. Before a creditor files a judgment against you, he will usually inform you of his claim in writing. Don’t throw the letter away, and don’t ignore it. Instead, contact the creditor and suggest a payment plan.
- Pay the creditor. In most states, a creditor must wait a certain number of days before they can garnish your bank account. Your account is usually frozen during this period. Use other money, if possible, to pay the creditor and avoid a bank account garnishment.
- Challenge the garnishment. Read your garnishment letter. During the waiting period, you can challenge the garnishment with the court that issued the judgment. If you challenge the garnishment, be prepared to provide documentation to the court. Exempt income, like Social Security and veteran’s benefits, are among the valid reasons to challenge a garnishment.
- Discuss your options. Don’t neglect to discuss your options with the creditor. If your account is being garnished, you are not likely to afford a lump-sum payment. But your creditor may be willing to negotiate a debt repayment plan. Discuss your options. While you may not be able to stop a bank garnishment, your creditor can stop the garnishment with a written notice to your bank.
- Consult with an attorney. If you can’t reach an agreement with the creditor that garnished your bank account, you may have to hire an attorney. An attorney may be able to help you stop garnishment and settle a debt, but it is an expensive way to go. Try to reach an agreement with your creditor before seeking legal assistance.
- File for bankruptcy. Bankruptcy is the only sure way to stop a bank account garnishment. As soon as you file for bankruptcy, the court will issue a stop order on all of your debt collections. This is the legal way to stop creditors from collecting on your debt. But bankruptcy does have some serious consequences and should only be used as a last-ditch effort.