7 Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Wage Garnishment Attorney

Hundreds of thousands of people in the US have a portion of their pay taken out of their paychecks. It’s a way that the IRS can obtain what you owe in back taxes.

You can also have your wages garnished for child support, alimony, student loans, and credit card debt. The question is, do you feel like the charge is too much? Would a payment plan help you settle your debt without bankrupting you?

If you answered yes to one of these questions, you might benefit from hiring a wage garnishment attorney. Continue reading to learn for sure.

What Is Wage Garnishment?

Wage garnishment is a court order that permits third parties to withdraw funds from a person’s paychecks. Most often, this third party is the person’s employer.

As stated above, there are many reasons why you may have your wages garnished. The most common are tax levies, child support, and alimony.

The garnishment will stop when you’ve paid your debts, the garnishment has been canceled, or the garnishment period comes to an end.

  1. Is Your Payment Obligation Accurate?

Most of the time, when you’re facing wage garnishment, it’s wise to let it happen. This will allow you to settle your debt without worrying about whether or not you have the money in your bank account.

The problem is if you’ve already paid what you owe or the debt isn’t yours. That’s when you should talk to a wage garnishment lawyer.

Once it’s decided that you owe a debt, it won’t be easy to prove that you don’t. You will need an attorney to gather evidence and fight for you in court.

  1. Would the Lawyer’s Fees Exceed the Amount You Owe?

Before hiring a lawyer, ask them if their legal fees would exceed the debt you owe. Most attorneys will answer this question truthfully. If their answer is yes, it might make sense for you to pay the debt and hold off on hiring an attorney to represent you.

  1. Would a Payment Arrangement Help Your Situation?

If your debt is about to bankrupt you or you’re going through a rough financial period, you might be able to negotiate a payment plan with the creditor you owe money.

Most creditors care more about getting their money than hurting you. They will most likely agree to a payment arrangement without lawyer involvement.

If your creditor doesn’t want to negotiate, you can hire an attorney to talk to them.

  1. Is Your Boss About to Fire You?

Is your boss about to fire you because you’re getting wages garnished? If so, contact an attorney as soon as possible. Your boss has to go along with the IRS wage garnishment release, but they aren’t allowed to fire you over it.

  1. Is Your Creditor Taking the Money Out of Your Bank Account?

One way creditors try to get around wage exemption is to take it out of your bank account. They aren’t allowed to take more money away from you than what is permitted by the law.

You’ll fill out forms to indicate what part of your bank account is wages. That’s all your creditor can take. If you notice a bigger chunk missing, contact your wage garnishment lawyer.

  1. Are You About to File Bankruptcy?

If your debt is causing you to struggle to make ends meet, it may be time to file for bankruptcy. As soon as you do, the wage garnishments will stop.

Of course, filing for bankruptcy can be a complex process. Your attorney can help you get started and let you know if you qualify.

  1. Is Your Creditor Taking Too Much?

When your wages are to be garnished, the court will inform you how much you can expect to lose out of your paychecks. According to federal law, a creditor can take a certain part of your wages.

If the creditor takes more, it might be time to talk to an attorney. Note that the IRS is allowed to take more than regular creditors.

What to Look For in a Wage Garnishment Lawyer

Now that you know what to ask yourself before hiring a lawyer and what they can do for you, it’s time to learn how to find the best one for your case.

Experience is crucial when it comes to wage garnishment. It’s also wise to choose a professional in your area.


Ask any potential attorney how many wage garnishment cases they’ve taken.

If they’ve been practicing law for over five years and have a handful of cases under their belt, there’s a good chance they’ve seen your situation before and will know how to help.

You should also ask them if they’ve dealt with the judges in your area. If so, they’ll have some inside knowledge that could help you in court.

Go Local

If you have the choice, always choose a local attorney. As stated above, you want a lawyer that’s worked with the judges in your area before.

Wage garnishment laws vary from state to state. You need an attorney that’s familiar with your local laws.


You’re going to be working closely with your attorney throughout your case. You need to be able to trust and get along with them.

If your lawyer can’t communicate with you clearly, it will be the same for the judge and other attorneys. You need someone that knows when it’s time to be professional.

If something about your lawyer bothers you, go with your gut and choose someone else.

Contact a Wage Garnishment Attorney Today

If you owe money in back taxes or have to pay child support, it could come out of your paychecks in the form of wage garnishment.

If you feel you don’t owe the money or the extra expense threatens to force you to file for bankruptcy, you can contact a wage garnishment attorney. Your lawyer can negotiate a payment plan or have the debt erased altogether.

For more ways to navigate the world of law, check out the rest of our blog.

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