You need to have your own, separate bank account, not joint! Go open up a new account and do not put her name on it to prevent this from happening again. I don't know if there is anyway to get the money back as the garnishment was against her and the account they went after had her name on it (unfortunately, yours also) which they were entitled to do.
Best of luck.
This answer is for informational purposes only and may not be relied upon as legal advice.
You should file a Challenge to Garnishment with the court. If your girlfriend received a copy of the writ of garnishment then the challenge form is in there; otherwise you can get a copy from the courthouse.
From what you say it seems you have two things to challenge:
1. The money does not belong to your girlfriend. Any documents you can show the judge to show this will help. The fact that your girlfriend's name is on the account is a bad fact for you.
2. The money is from student loans. These are exempt. You should have documents to show judge that the source of the money is federal student assistance.
You can hire an attorney to represent you at the challenge hearing, though this is something you could do on your own.
Best of luck,
Tim L Eblen
You should consult with an experienced consumer debt defense attorney that is licensed in Washington State. I suggest that you look for one at www.naca.net.
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