How long after default judgment will wages be garnished, or bank accounts attached?

Asked over 1 year ago - Atlanta, GA

Once a creditor's receives a default judgment against a debtor how long does it typically take the suing law firm to garnish wages and/or seize cash from the debtor's bank account(s)? Can they request garnishment at the same hearing in which they are granted the default judgment, or is it a separate request? What about their access to your bank account...can it be immediate, upon judgment? I would like the legal answer as well as what to actually expect. Please help, and thanks!

Additional information

State is Georgia.

Attorney answers (4)

  1. Jonathan C. Ginsberg


    Contributor Level 8


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Mr. Feagle and Mr. Ashman both make valid points. You are at risk immediately. I would that even if the creditor does not find a bank account or other assets today, this outstanding judgment could bite you years from now. I recently spoke to a gentleman against whom a judgment was rendered more than 10 years ago but never collected upon. The creditor renewed the judgment after 7 years and now, 10 + years later, a debt buyer found the defendant in a far away county at a new job. Do not ignore judgments and don't assume that because nothing happens right away that you are safe.

  2. James Marvin Feagle

    Contributor Level 9


    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . It varies. Sometimes they never find a bank account or an employer to garnish. If you have made payments to them by check or an ach payment, you can assume they will garnish that account quickly. If your current employer is listed on your credit report, they will try and garnish it quickly. They bring a separate action always to garnish. The venue may be a different county than the original suit. Sometimes you can still strike a decent deal even post judgment. Feel free to call if you want to discuss. Good luck.

    Skaar & Feagle, LLP maintains offices in Marietta (770 427 5600) and Decatur (404 373 1970), Georgia. The... more
  3. Glen Edward Ashman


    Contributor Level 20


    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . First of all if you are in this situation see a lawyer yesterday! Since that's impossible, devote tomorrow to the task.

    You have more options and protection the day before a judgment than the day after. Often you'll have ways, such as bankruptcy, to wipe out the debt and protect assets and wages. Sometimes there may be other choices to consider, including cutting a deal.

    Garnishment is a separate proceeding. In theory, creditors can do it virtually right away. In practice there will be some gap of time. Whether that is days, weeks, months or longer depends on the creditor and what information they have on you. It is never a good strategy to wait until after the fact.

    Feel free to call me at 404-768-3509 if you want to be proactive.

    If you find this answer helpful, please mark it here on AVVO as helpful. In answering you, I am attempting to... more
  4. Jeffrey Branan Kelly

    Contributor Level 12


    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . I agree with Jonathan. This problem won't go away by itself. If a garnishment starts, they can take 25 percent of your net income in Georgia.

    No attorney client relationship exists unless we have a written contract. Nothing in this post should be... more

Related Topics


Bankruptcy is a legal way for people or businesses who are no longer capable of paying back their bills to clear these debts and start over.

Wage garnishment

Wage garnishment is the process whereby your employer sends part of your paycheck directly to your creditor in order to pay off your debt.

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