People tend to get "harassed" when they don't pay their bills. However, if they are garnishing your wages that means they sued you and got a judgment against you.
Creditors get a garnishment only after they sue you and going to court. They probably sent notice to the last known address they had for you or published notice in the newspaper. You didn't show for court. They got a judgement. Now they are garnishing your wages for what you owe them.
↓ Mark this answer as "Helpful" or "Best Answer" if you like it. For more information, contact us at www.SteakleyLawFirm.com or (404) 835-7595. The initial consultation is always free for Avvo users.
The only time a credit card company can garnish wages is after obtaining a judgment. Which means it must sue you first.
As for why, debtor agrees to pay back a debt, and doesn't. That is a breach of contract, and our laws allow people to sue to recover the money rightfully owed (as opposed to going to your house, beating you up, and taking whatever they can see....the benefits of living in a 1st world civil democracy).
However, bankruptcy is the BEST way to deal with this situation because it will stop the garnishment and extinguish the debt.
They can only garnish your wages under a court order of a final judgment. It is unclear from your answer if your wages are currently being garnished or if that is just something you are worried about.
There are relevant deadlines that are involved in credit card cases about how long they can wait before filing in court. It is unclear from your question if they have filed suit or not.
Usually the attorneys that pursue those cases do so in a situation where the bad debt has been bought for pennies on the dollar and they are just trying to see what they can get out of the deal. Sometimes they represent the original creditor directly. Acknowledging the debt can extend the time they have to file suit. Suggest you contact an attorney just to go over the case to see how best to handle it. Likely it is not worth it for you to pay an attorney for the whole case if you can't afford to pay the debt.
You may want to go to the courthouse to get copies of the documents in the file, especially the service document. Good luck.
Be sure to designate "best answer." If you live in Oregon, you may call me for more detailed advice, 503-650-9662. Please be aware that each answer on this website is based upon the facts, or lack thereof, provided in the question. To be sure you get complete and comprehensive answers, based upon the totality of your situation, contact a local attorney who specializes in the area of law that involves your legal problem. Diane L. Gruber has been practicing law in Oregon for 26 years, specializing in family law, bankruptcy, estate planning and probate. Note: Diane L. Gruber does not represent you until a written fee agreement has been signed by you and Diane L. Gruber, and the fee listed in the agreement has been paid.
Creditors can sue on an unpaid credit card up to six years after the debt was incurred or the last payment made. If you are sued and lose, they can then enforce that judgment for 7 more years (by garnishment of wages and bank accounts, and other means), and that 7 years can be extended.
This is NOT going away. See a lawyer, as you may have remedies. One may be to wipe the debt out in bankruptcy. And if you have other options, the lawyer will tell you.
If you find this answer helpful, please mark it here on AVVO as helpful. In answering you, I am attempting to communicate general legal information and am not representing you (and am not your lawyer). Do feel free to call me at 404-768-3509 if you wish to discuss actual representation (the phone call also does not retain counsel; that requires an office visit and appropriate paperwork). In that a forum such as this provides me with limited details and doesn't allow me to review details and documents, it is possible that answers here, while meant to be helpful, may in some cases not be complete or accurate, and I highly recommend that you retain legal counsel rather than rely on the answers here. (You can also email my office at firstname.lastname@example.org . An email also does not retain my office, but can help you get an appointment set if you prefer not to call). I am happy to discuss possible representation with you. Any information in this communication is for discussion purposes only, and is not offered as legal advice. There is no right to rely on the information contained in this communication and no attorney-client relationship is formed. Nothing in my answer should be considered as tax-advice. To ensure compliance with IRS Circular 230, any U.S. federal tax advice provided in this communication is not intended or written to be used, and it cannot be used by the recipient or any other taxpayer (i) for the purpose of avoiding tax penalties that may be imposed on the recipient or any other taxpayer, or (ii) in promoting, marketing or recommending to another party a partnership or other entity, investment plan, arrangement or other transaction addressed herein. I am also required to advise you, if your question concerns bankruptcy, that the U.S. Congress has designated Ashman Law Office as a debt relief agency that can help people file bankruptcy.
They must sue you and win, either by default or after a trial, before they can garnish you. They will have a 6 year statute of limitations from the date of last activity to pursue the account, but have been known to sue even beyond that in the hope that the person being sued will not know how to make a statute of limitations defense or will not file an answer at all. Until then, they cannot garnish you, although that is what they will threaten you with. If they are harassing you, don't expect it to stop or go away. You can either pay them, settle with them, explore bankruptcy as an option to wipe them out, or wait around and let them sue and garnish you. Therefore, you need to be proactive.
The above information is general in nature. In order to obtain more specific and legal advice upon which to base your important decisions, please contact our office directly for a free phone or in person consultation. Robert M. Gardner, Jr. Hicks, Massey & Gardner, LLP email@example.com 53 W. Candler St. Or 718 Oak St. Winder, Ga. 30680 Gainesville, Georgia (770) 307-4899 (770) 538-0555 gadebtlaw.com hicksmasseyandgardner.com serving metro Atlanta and all of Northeast Georgia Bankruptcy, Divorce, Personal Injury, Worker’s Compensation, Medical Malpractice, Adoption, Civil and Criminal Litigation