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Wage Garnishment Sends Debtors Fleeing to Bankruptcy

Posted By admin || 8-Jul-2009

According to an article in the Star-Telegram, states that allow debt collectors to easily seize consumers' wages have sharply higher bankruptcy rates than neighboring states that prohibit or strictly limit wage garnishment .

The article said:

"After gathering millions of bankruptcy records from 2006 until now, the AP plotted the number of filings for each U.S. county in its Economic Stress Map - a geographic, chronological and visual depiction of economic misery based on unemployment, foreclosure and bankruptcy data.

While bankruptcy rates vary for many reasons, the five states that prohibit or strongly limit wage seizures - North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Florida and Texas - all have drastically lower rates than their neighbors, with particularly striking differences along borders, where economic conditions are similar but bankruptcy rates are not."

These findings simply add to the evidence that garnishing a person's wages doesn't really benefit the creditor and may lead to more financial vulnerability for the debtor. What often happens is that as soon as a debtor even thinks or suspects that a creditor is attempting to garnish their wages they file for bankruptcy. Chapter 7 bankruptcy and Chapter 13 bankruptcy immediately stop wage garnishments and may reduce or even completely wipe out the debt obligation, leaving the creditor empty-handed. Debtors who are several months delinquent on a debt are particularly vulnerable to wage garnishments because during this recession many creditors are aggressively using the wage garnishment tactic. Often when a debtor is delinquent on one credit account, he/she has other financial obligations that are going unmet. All of those creditors may want to get a slice of the debtor's wages, but the percentage of wages that can be garnished is usually limited to around 25 percent. Because of this creditors are now desperate to be the first ones to garnish a debtor's wages so that they can possibly get the full 25 percent.

If you're experiencing a wage garnishment or suspect that a creditor is attempting to garish your wages, speak to a Dallas-Fort Worth bankruptcy attorney today about your bankruptcy options.

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