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I have a huge garnishment from Oregon department of revenue

Portland, OR |

I screwed up. I haven't filed State or Federal taxes in 4 years. I got hit with a huge 15000 garnishment on top of consumer credit garnishments, and I want to fix this. Is the garnishment the states final offer, or can I negotiate and come in out of the cold? I got hooked on pain meds which turned me into a zombie, but I'm straightened up.

Attorney Answers 3


Yes, you can fix this problem. First step is to file the missing income tax returns. That sets the expectations of everyone involved. You want these done right the first time. The tax authorities hate it when you file sloppy returns (and waste their time) and then change them.
Once the returns are filed, then you can pursue avenues for relief from the payment of taxes, interest and penalties.

Please be sure and mark the best answer. If you wish more information on this matter you can email me at or call me at 503 345 0652. Thank you! hope this helps. ***************************************** LEGAL DISCLAIMER James Oberholtzer is licensed to practice law in the Commonwealth of Virginia and the States of Illinois, Oregon and Washington. He has offices in Chicago, Illinois and Portland, Oregon. His law practice focuses on business, estate planning ( Wills and Trusts), probate administration, tax,real estate and tax exempt organizations. The foregoing statements do not create an attorney/client relationship. These responses should be considered general legal education and are intended to provide general information about the question asked. Frequently, the question does not include important facts that, if known, could significantly change the answer. Information provided on this site should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed attorney that practices in the subject area in your state. The law changes frequently and varies from state to state.

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I agree with the previous answer. However, I would first contact the Oregon department of revenue, tell them that you are working on addressing the problem, set a deadline for having your returns filed, and ask them to hold off on any collection action. Barring that, have them modify the garnishment so that they are taking less away from you. If you can claim any sort of economic hardship, you might want to have bank statements and other information ready to fax to them. Stop collections first and then deal with your tax problems.

Although I am not in your jurisdiction, I have written numerous articles on my blog about collection matters. Although they principally deal with IRS collections, Oregon offers similar tax resolution alternatives. I would start there if you want to increase your knowledge base on what your options are. I imagine there would be some good resources on Avvo as well. Good luck.

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I see you mentioned consumer credit garnishments. It might make sense for you to file a chapter 7 bankruptcy to dump the credit card debts before you try to cut a deal on a payment plan with the state. You want your offer to be taken seriously, and that might mean dumping the credit card debt via a bankruptcy. The state needs to see that you have the ability to pay a reasonable sum to make a real dent in your obligation. Note that bankruptcy isn't going to be written off in the bankruptcy.

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