It was not very long ago that we published an article about the challenges many in Tennessee face. Even though the recession was formally declared over quite awhile ago, the article noted that many Americans still struggle. And many have found themselves on the wrong side of a court order that has resulted in them seeing their wages garnished by a creditor.
That has been the case for quite some time, and as National Public Radio reported just last month, the situation hasn't changed much. According to that report, 10 percent of working Americans between the age of 35 and 44 are seeing their earnings siphoned off. The bills the money is going toward can be anything from medical bills, student loans to credit card debt.
The report also says there's been a big shift in the reasons for wages being garnished. It used to be that it was mainly to cover child support payments. But a review of some 13 million average workers in 2013 showed that the scales have tipped. More money is being garnished to cover consumer debt than child support these days. It's estimated that as many as 4 million employees, or 3 percent of the entire workforce, lost wages to consumer debt garnishments last year.
As our article sought to show, while garnishment provides creditors with a fairly powerful legal tool, consumers are not without legal defenses. The problem too often is that consumers aren't aware of what their options are or how important it is to take timely action.
By consulting with a skilled attorney early it is possible for consumers facing garnishment to consider all options, including bankruptcy, to determine how best to obtain the debt relief they need.