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How long does it take to start a wage garnishment? I got a call last week from a creditor threatening to garnish my wages?

Mcdonough, GA |

A letter came this week stating the debt. I'm not even sure if I'm legally liable.

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Filed under: Debt Wage garnishment
Attorney answers 4


To garnish there must be a legal judgment in court against you.


If you are only now starting to get calls and letters, then the earliest a garnishment could legally be filed against you is months away. Often the process from initial letters to garnishment can take years.

Before you can be garnished, you first must be sued, served and have a chance to defend. If that hasn't happened, then no garnishment is imminent.

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There can only be a garnishment once you have lost a court case. If you already did in the past, garnishment could be imminent. Otherwise it could be months away. In some cases the letter may be a violation of law, so have a lawyer look at it. How you respond can affect your liability, or lack of it, and your economic future. That means do not call or write the creditor and see a lawyer immediately.

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As the other attorneys have indicated, you cannot be garnished (except in unusual circumstances) until a judgment has been awarded against you. If you feel like a judgment has been awarded against you or you have a valid defense, or you would like to settle and compromise the claim, now is the time to contact an attorney. Don't wait until its too late. Good luck.