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Wage Garnishment problems, could someone help me?

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I'm a first time poster, and just want to remark on what a wonderful forum this is! There is truly an amazing collection of smart and kind people here, and I'm hoping some of you can provide me with a little guidance.

A credit card company sued me, and obtained a judgment for approximately $20,000. (I owed them the money, and so I have no intention of trying to fight this.) The next thing I know, there is a wage execution document sent to me by a NYC marshal, and my paychecks begin getting garnished. I live in NYC, and work for the city as well. My spouse is currently unemployed, and so my income is the sole income of our household. I get paid every 2 weeks, and they are deducting 20% of my gross wages, which is $250. This extra $500 per month is causing me a great hardship, as all my expenses and bills have gone up, and now I cannot afford to make ends meet.

By law, would I be able to file a claim of exemptions, or some other form, showing that the garnishment is creating too big of a hardship on me? I would gladly be willing to still make payments, but $100 per month would ease things up a lot more than $500 per month.

Also, I tried to offer a lump sum settlement amount to the credit card company, and they flat out refused. The attorney I had call them basically said that they would rather have the guaranteed money a city paycheck brings. Before I spend any more money I simply cannot afford on a lawyer, I was hoping someone here could shed some light on what I could do at this time.

My biggest fear is the need to file bankruptcy over this, as I cannot continue to pay my bills with such a large garnishment in place.

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I'm a first time poster, and just want to remark on what a wonderful forum this is! There is truly an amazing collection of smart and kind people here, and I'm hoping some of you can provide me with a little guidance.

A credit card company sued me, and obtained a judgment for approximately $20,000. (I owed them the money, and so I have no intention of trying to fight this.) The next thing I know, there is a wage execution document sent to me by a NYC marshal, and my paychecks begin getting garnished. I live in NYC, and work for the city as well. My spouse is currently unemployed, and so my income is the sole income of our household. I get paid every 2 weeks, and they are deducting 20% of my gross wages, which is $250. This extra $500 per month is causing me a great hardship, as all my expenses and bills have gone up, and now I cannot afford to make ends meet.

By law, would I be able to file a claim of exemptions, or some other form, showing that the garnishment is creating too big of a hardship on me? I would gladly be willing to still make payments, but $100 per month would ease things up a lot more than $500 per month.

Also, I tried to offer a lump sum settlement amount to the credit card company, and they flat out refused. The attorney I had call them basically said that they would rather have the guaranteed money a city paycheck brings. Before I spend any more money I simply cannot afford on a lawyer, I was hoping someone here could shed some light on what I could do at this time.

My biggest fear is the need to file bankruptcy over this, as I cannot continue to pay my bills with such a large garnishment in place.

you answered your own question. ask for a hearing and bring a financial statement showing all your bills and living expenses and ask the garnishment lowered / or........ file bankruptcy :)

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Well, I'm not sure if what I'm thinking is correct and/or legal. Yes, I'd like a hearing in court to ask for the garnishment to be reduced, but is that legally possible? Meaning, do I legally stand a chance of this happening?

Also, the very last thing I would want to do is file for bankruptcy, since the judgement is the sole debt I have. I'm just very nervous about falling into debt in the near future due to the reduction of my income.

I have trimmed my budget and cut out everything I was able to except for basic necessities. Hopefully someone who has been through this or is familiar with the law can guide me.

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I had my wages garnished once because a debt collector had obtained a default judgment against me. Like you, I am the sole income for our family and the amount they were taking had a crippling effect on our budget. In my case, I wasn't properly served notice of the original court date so I filed a motion to vacate the judgment. When the attorney for the debt collector showed up to contest it, he and I hammered out a payment agreement that was more reasonable and doable for me and I dismissed my motion. Like you, the debt was mine and was one I intended to pay, but was just unable to pay all at once, I used the motion to vacate as a bargaining tool.

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One thing is for certain here, if you don't fie and ask the judge to lower the payments you will be stuck with what you now have.

Usually you have to be in court when the other party asks for a garnishment. You have to be given the chance to talk with the court and give your side as to how much you can afford. That keeps someone from getting as much as they can from you and putting you in financial hardship.

File a motion or you won't get a lower payment.

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Guest usctrojanalum
Well, I'm not sure if what I'm thinking is correct and/or legal. Yes, I'd like a hearing in court to ask for the garnishment to be reduced, but is that legally possible? Meaning, do I legally stand a chance of this happening?

Yes you can, luckily you have found me on here! What you need to do is go down to the court were you sued in (I'm guessing it is one of the civil courts in the 5 burroughs) and tell the clerk you want to bring an Order to Show Cause to Reduce Your Wage Garnishment. You may have to wait around the court for a while because a judge will have to sign it, but he will most definitely sign it.

Moreover, I doubt you are being garnished to the tune of 20% gross because that is illegal and I have the utmost respect for our law enforcement agencies in the City of New York. It is either 10% of your gross or 25% of your disposable.

Judgment debtors do not know they can do this, and I have rarely have seen consumers do this but it is an option. Also the OSC is almost never opposed by the plaintiff's attorney just because it would take too much work for the amount of money they stand to lose.

Say you are having your wages garnished to the tune of 10% gross, ask for 5% gross. If you are being garnished by the 25% disposible ask for 10% disposable. In your Order to Show Cause you should provide proof of your costs of living. Statements, bills, mention that your wife is unemployed etc etc only helps your case.

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Thanks a lot, usctrojanalum!:) You are correct, it was a typo on my part when I posted they were garnishing 20% of my gross income, IT IS 10% that is actually being taken.

Do you advise I proceed by myself, pro se, or have an attorney represent me? Currently, I am more inclined to do this on my own, as the last attorney I retained caused me more harm than good. I can of course hire a new lawyer, but if this is something fairly simple I can do myself, I would rather save some money.

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You could probably do it yourself. You just show proof of your bills, then proof of your income and show that there is almost nothing left and with the 10% they are taking it is not allowing you to make ends meet.

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The courts in NYC, getting an order to show cause pro se is extremely easy.

There are easy forms and basically you can just check boxes off and fill in the blanks and you can file exhibits, just let the clerk know you want to get an OSC to reduce your wage garnishment.

Find out what the indexing number of your case is, that will make it easier for the clerk to look up your file.

After you have filled out a form, a judge needs to sign it - because an Order to Show Cause is basically what it says it is. It is an actual Order from a Judge telling the Plaintiff to show just cause why you should NOT have your wage garnishment reduced to whatever number you want it reduced to.

After it is signed, you will have to serve it on the plaintiff's attorney. A hearing date will be set that you will have to show up to. I honestly have only seen like 3 of these in my life and all went unopposed. I doubt they are going to oppose yours. If they do decide to oppose yours, the judge is going to make a decision based on your evidence and testimony and the affidavits and affirmations from the plaintiffs attorney.

However, with all the democratic consumer friendly judges there are in NYC the plaintiff is going to have a hard time saying that a reduction in the income execution from 10% gross to 4 or 5% is unreasonable and he will probably look like a total a-hole if he tried to fight it

Now obviously, you will have to keep it within reason. You are at 10% gross, they are not going to let you get off with 1% gross but I do not see why a 4-6% reduction would not be within reason! GL!! please keep us updated

Edited by usctrojanalum
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After it is signed, you will have to serve it on the plaintiff's attorney.

Thanks again for the guidance, I really appreciate it! I wonder if I will have to serve the papers I file to the marshal as well? Apparently it is a city marshal who is collecting this money that is being garnished for the plaintiff, so I would think he would need to be notified as well?

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if you file at the court clerks office it is up to the court to notify all parties involved.

Look up Rules of Trial Procedure for your state, google it. That will let you know how things work.

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Thanks again for the guidance, I really appreciate it! I wonder if I will have to serve the papers I file to the marshal as well? Apparently it is a city marshal who is collecting this money that is being garnished for the plaintiff, so I would think he would need to be notified as well?

Yes, the court order is going to force you to notify the City Marshall.

The court is most likely going to tell you that you have to send it CMRRR, but sometimes they do make you pony up the $17 and make you over night it. I do not know why they do this and not every civil court does this.

You are also going to have to file a proof of service too, but this is easy they have a form for that as well.

Which City Marshall is it by the way?

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