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Can a Dept collector garnish wages without any notification of any court date? I was not notified.

Upland, CA |

My boss handed a letter stating my wages was garnished. My boss is the only notification that my wages are being garnished by 25%.

Bankruptcy was filed in 2004, Nissan car purchase was on the bankruptcy. I have two cars on the bankruptcy in 04. Ford Torus 54,000 ,lies trans went out, volunteering the car. Same with the Nissan but Nissan put it as a Volunteering surrender. So, just before the bankruptcy is off my credit, I now get my wages garnished without court notice. My address they had on file was forwarded to my current address via United States Post Office over a year ago. I am going to file a paper to see if I can lower the payments or see if I can get out of even paying this. I'm not sure with the forms are called, but my daughter was looking online about it. Can I file bankruptcy again so soon, I have $3,000 from a mobile home pending owing back charges from a tenant moving out 2 months late. I have medical and small other bills too. I'm afraid since this bill is now garnishing wages, other old creditors will do the same soon. I don't know if that is legal what the are trying to do. Thank you.

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Attorney answers 4


There must be a Judgement against you. The creditor can request an Earnings Withholding Order and have it served on your employer. The creditor does not have to notice you. You, however, are entitled to file a Claim of Exemption with the court to lower the garnishment amount.

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If your wages are being garnished, it means a court action was held, and you were defaulted, meaning you didn't show up or file an answer. Unfortunately, this happens all too often, process servers sometimes lie, mistakes are made, and it's frequent for people to find that their first notice of an action is when their wages are garnished.

You have a couple of choices - you can hire an attorney to seek to set aside the judgment and defend the case. Alternatively, you could consider bankruptcy, if the rest of your financial picture supports a bankruptcy and makes it a valid choice.

I suggest you get a consultation with an attorney who does both bankruptcy and debt defense work, and analyze your options.

Good luck, and remember to designate a best answer!

This answer is not intended to be legal advice. READ THIS BEFORE you contact me! My responses to questions on Avvo are not offered as legal advice and you must not rely upon my answers as if they were legal advice. I give legal advice ONLY in the course of a written attorney-client relationship. Exchange of information through Avvo's Questions forum does not establish an attorney-client relationship with me. That relationship is established only by joint execution of a written agreement for legal services. Consultations are always free.The Law Offices of Eric Ridley emphasizes Consumer Law, Collection Defense, Bankruptcy & Litigation. Eric D. Ridley is licensed to practice law in California. This answer is intended to provide general information only. It does not create an Attorney-Client relationship, nor should it be construed as legal advice or an opinion on specific situations. I am a lawyer, but I am not *your* lawyer until we have a written agreement that says so.


If there is a garnishment order, the involvement of the court is over. If you were not properly served, then you may have an argument to set aside the judgment, but that costs money and you would then need to go in and defend the suit. It is likely that you have other debts out there as well. Consider scheduling a consultation with one of the many qualified debt settlement and/or bankruptcy Avvo attorneys.


Did you receive a paper called a "Summons"? Were other papers also given or sent, or left, for you? These would be a "Complaint" and some other forms. If you did not file an Answer (or other pleading) with the court within the prescribed time (30 days if personally served, longer if substitute service was used), there was no court date. The judgment was entered by default. If you want to contest the garnishment you must file a Claim of Exemption and/or file a motion to vacate the judgment.

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