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

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!

State is Georgia.

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Attorney answers 4


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 information ("the answer") provided above is for general information and educational purposes only. The answer should not be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. Posting the question and reviewing the answer does not constitute an attorney-client relationship. My firm will ask you to sign a written contract prior to the commencement of representation in any attorney-client relationship. Please contact 770 427 5600 or 404 373 1970, if you wish to discuss your situation further. Skaar & Feagle, LLP accepts select consumer rights cases. These cases include, but are not limited to, cases of abusive and unlawful collection activity, debt defense, credit reporting of false or obsolete (old) information, high interest lenders (title pawns, payday loans), debt management plans, and fraud or unfair practices in the sale and financing of automobiles.


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.

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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.


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 interpreted as legal advice.