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Creditor has garnished my wages for wife's credit card is this allowed under CA laws stopping wage garnishment

Temecula, CA |

Hello. My wife has an unsecured credit card balance of over $12,000, and has not been able to make the payments. The credit card is in her name only. The credit card co. asked us to make a $6,000 payment to them or they would send our account over to a 3rd party collection agency . We told them we were not able to make that kind of payment. She has since received a summons in the mail from a law office informing us that that they were seeking to garnish her wages, but we still have not gone to court on the matter. We have spoken with the collection agency and offered to pay $300 per month. They want $5000 immediatly...we dont have that at this time. I am a full time employee( about $70,000 per year) she is a part time employee(about $14,000 per year). I have 2 questions....1> can I somehow STOP the wage garnishment at this point....2> Since California is a "community property" type state, are my wages subject to garnishment as well. Know that I want to make payments....just not the large ones they would immediatly like!! HEY... Are there any other options ? Thank you so much.

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Attorney answers 3


First, we need to clarify some language. You don't receive a summons for a wage garnishment. Look at the bottom of the form. It will have a form number. Then you can go to and search by form number. That will tell you what the form is.

If it is a summons, it means your wife has been sued. You need to file a responsive pleading. There are a variety of choices. You can read more about responsive pleading options at my blog If it is a wage garnishment, it means you have already been sued and there is a judgment against you. You may be able to file a claim of exemption.

You should talk to an attorney about your options. There are a variety of options, but they are too numerous to list here without knowing exactly where you are in the process.


My best advise to you is to seek the advise of a competent bankruptcy lawyer. Most bankruptcy lawyers offer a first visit free consultation. Make sure that you select an attorney that has been practicing law for a considerable period of time and who's emphasis is on bankruptcy law. When you call to make an appointment be sure to find out what documents you should bring to your meeting in order to get the maximum benefit from your free consultation.

A bankruptcy proceeding will stop the garnishment. In a chapter 13 you will be able to repay the debt in an amount you can afford and without a garnishment.


Although I am in Maryland I can say that unless you agreed to be responsible on some credit card application that you should not be liable for your wifes debt obligations even though it is a community property state as that term applies primarily to domestic issues

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