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Anyone successful getting a Garnishment "adjusted"?

New Contributor

Anyone successful getting a Garnishment "adjusted"?

I'm submitting a Garnishment Traverse form to the court here to try and get the percentage they are taking lowered.  They are taking 25% and I truly can not afford my basic living expenses with them taking that much.  Has anyone ever been successful at getting one lowered?

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4 REPLIES
Established Contributor

Re: Anyone ever been successful in getting a Garnishment "adjusted"?

Misses_November -

 

A judgment traverse request is a request to the court that the material facts of the case resulting in the underlying judgment, garnishment, or other matters are incorrect.  Mostly used in the state of GA and field within 15 days of the judgment to be considered.

 

The % is by state law not the judges discretion.

 

You really should seek professional legal advice concerning this matter.

 

Best of luck.

Message 2 of 5
Regular Contributor

Re: Anyone ever been successful in getting a Garnishment "adjusted"?

While I haven't been successful in getting a garnishment lowered, I have been successful in getting one stopped completely.

 

I had a default judgment entered against me in 2004 for $4800 ($2200 for the original debt and $2600 in interest and fees). They waited until this year to issue a garnishment order to my employer. When I was notified of the garnishment, 25% of my discretionary income, I tried contacting the law firm to discuss a reduction in the amount. They weren't trying to hear anything I had to say and would only settle for a lump sum payment of $4200 (which I didn't have). I then submitted a motion to the court to request reduced payments; the judge told me that unless I could prove extreme financial hardship, it was at the discretion of the plaintiff, and again, they weren't trying to hear of it!

 

So, I hired an attorney (well, technically, I didn't hire them since they took the case at no charge). A motion was filed contesting the validity of the original judgment and requesting a dismissal. Suddenly, the law firm for the plaintiff wants to talk about settlement (go figure!). They agreed to stopped the garnishment immediately and consider anything collected thus far as payment in full (a total of $1200).

 

When a garnishment has been entered, they other side usually holds all the power and thus doesn't want to hear anything you have to say. Look into Legal Aid services who can assist you with this issue. Once you obtain counsel, the other side tends to be a lot more open to negotiations.

Message 3 of 5
New Contributor

Re: Anyone ever been successful in getting a Garnishment "adjusted"?

Thank you both!!

 

Heavanly1, you are right, I contacted the lawyers office to try and settle- the original judgment was $2450, the garnishment is for $4700!!  I offered a settlement of $2500, and the paralegal that I s/w advised she would contact the original creditor to see if they would accept or counter offer. This Friday will be two weeks since that original convo and she has not heard from them yet.  I will try legal aid and hopefully I can get help free, because right now, I can't even afford to buy my son fall/winter clothes!

Message 4 of 5
Senior Contributor

Re: Anyone successful getting a Garnishment "adjusted"?


Misses_November wrote:

I'm submitting a Garnishment Traverse form to the court here to try and get the percentage they are taking lowered.  They are taking 25% and I truly can not afford my basic living expenses with them taking that much.  Has anyone ever been successful at getting one lowered?


Unfortunately the total amount owed under the judgment is determined by the courts and your state's civil procedure law regarding statutory interest.  Your state's CPL also determines the maximum amount of any garnishments as a percentage of your wages.  Unless the judgment creditor is considerate or you have some extremely extenuating circumstances far and above simple financial hardship, you might have a tough time convincing a court to lower the amount taken from your wages.

 

That said, there are a couple of things you can do that might tilt the balance in your favor.  One, obviously, is bankruptcy, but that is a drastic solution.  Another might be to try and convince -- better via an attorney -- the judgment creditor it is in their best interests to establish a payment plan with you that calls for lower than 25% payments.  Basically you want the judgment creditor to believe that they are far from assured of getting all their money from you by being inflexible since garnishing 25% of your wages is going to force you to either quit your job or file for bankruptcy. 

 

Another option is to attack the validity of the underlying judgment.  Were you actually served when the creditor was suing you?  Were you properly served?  If not, you may be able to have the judgment vacated and then the creditor gets zilch.  See above paragraph. 

 

Again, I would make every effort to get legal representation as creditors often take things more seriously when they are speaking with your lawyer.

IAALBNYL
Message 5 of 5