Does Your Employer Know if You Have a Wage Garnishment in Pennsylvania?
Most people understandably want to keep their personal financial difficulties, like any debt they may have, private. Unfortunately, if one of your creditors seeks wage garnishment in Pennsylvania, your employer is likely to find out.
When your wages are subject to garnishment to satisfy debts to creditors in Pennsylvania, your employer will be informed. That said, their involvement is minimal and have the job of simply removing the necessary funds from your paychecks. Your employer cannot fire you for reasons related to your current financial situation after an initial wage garnishment order. The amount your employer withholds will be determined by the court and Pennsylvania’s limitations for wage garnishment. To make your paychecks complete again, you may have to file for bankruptcy, which can stop wage garnishment for the purposes of paying back certain debts.
For a free and confidential case review with our Pennsylvania bankruptcy lawyers, call Young, Marr, Mallis & Associates today at (215) 372-8667.
Will My Pennsylvania Employer Know About Wage Garnishments?
If a creditor is granted a court order to garnish your wages to satisfy debts you owe, your employer will most likely find out. This is because an employer is responsible for withholding funds from a debtor’s payment for wage garnishment.
In Pennsylvania, wage garnishment is a process through which creditors, people you owe money to, can collect payment for debts by taking a portion of your employment check. Depending on the specific parties involved, creditors may or may not have to get a court order to garnish your wages, meaning your paycheck might be lower than usual without you receiving much notice.
Because wage garnishments occur before you get your paycheck, your employer will be informed. Your employer will withhold a certain portion of your paycheck and send those funds to the court to be sent to the necessary creditor. You might be exempt from wage garnishments in Pennsylvania, depending on your income.
While our Philadelphia bankruptcy lawyers can prevent wage garnishments by filing a claim for exemption within 30 days of a creditor’s filing, your employer might already have been informed of your situation. Though you might be embarrassed by this development, your employer can’t take action against you right away. Although your employer will likely know about wage garnishments and be somewhat involved in the process, they can only terminate you on the basis of wage garnishments if you have more than one.
How Much Can My Employer Withhold in Wage Garnishments in Pennsylvania?
The amount of money your employer withholds from your paycheck for wage garnishments will depend on the type of debt you owe and Pennsylvania’s limitations. Employers can only withhold a certain amount from debtors’ paychecks and do not make any decisions regarding the matter themselves.
Although employers might be somewhat involved in the wage garnishment process, their role is small. Think of them as the middlemen, not a party with much stake in the game. Of course, there are rare situations in which an employer might also be a creditor, making navigating wage garnishments a bit more difficult.
Regardless, the amount your employer can withhold from your paycheck after being notified of an order for wage garnishments is not their decision. Moreover, wage garnishment is only permitted for debts due to alimony, child support, certain leases, restitution fees, student loans, and taxes in Pennsylvania.
Upon getting your first check subjected to wage garnishments, confirm the amount withheld with our attorneys. Suppose too much has been withheld and it is affecting you financially, making you unable to pay other bills you might have. In that case, our lawyers can assess Pennsylvania’s wage garnishment percentages to ensure your case is being handled properly.
Each type of debt is subject to a different wage garnishment percentage. For example, wage garnishment for owed debts due to leases is limited to 10% of an employee’s wages. Typically, wage garnishment for owed child support is higher, up to 60%. Your employer cannot and should not be instructed to withhold amounts that would put you below the poverty line.
Can You Stop Your Employer from Garnishing Your Wages?
If your employer has been instructed to garnish your wages by a court order in Pennsylvania, you can’t simply ask them to stop. Instead, you can file for bankruptcy to end wage garnishment and keep your employer out of your personal finances.
You can stop wage garnishments for certain debts by filing for bankruptcy in Pennsylvania. It’s important to note that the automatic stay that comes with filing for bankruptcy won’t stop collection efforts from creditors regarding certain debts, like child support and alimony.
However, other debts subject to wage garnishment can be more easily addressed. Immediately after our lawyers file your bankruptcy claim, wage garnishments for eligible debts will stop altogether. This means no more money will come from your weekly or monthly paychecks, removing your employer from the process.
You first have to consider the type of bankruptcy that best suits your needs. If you have sufficient savings to repay creditors via a repayment plan, our attorneys can file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy and devise a schedule that satisfies creditors. For other debtors in Pennsylvania, Chapter 7 bankruptcy, also known as liquidation bankruptcy, may be preferable to address outstanding debts not satisfied with previously garnished wages.
Apart from filing for bankruptcy, debtors can stop wage garnishments by paying off all of their debts. However, if this was a feasible option, debtors might have done this in the first place, leaving bankruptcy as the top solution for stopping wage garnishment by an employer.
Call Our Pennsylvania Lawyers Today About Your Bankruptcy Case
For a free case review with our Quakertown, PA bankruptcy lawyers, call Young, Marr, Mallis & Associates today at (215) 372-8667.