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Wage Garnishment


Yawo64
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Hello,

Pressler and Pressler has gotton a wage garnisment against me. Earlier this year, they won a judgement for an old debt, and we agreed on a payment plan which I had adhered to until June when unemployment and arson rendered me incapable of meeting the payment terms. I called them, but they refused to accept lower payments. In September, I was ready to start payment and called them again. They refused indicating that they would pursue wage garnishment. Today, i received a letter from my HR department informing me that my wages have been garnished. They offered me an option to either object to the garnishment or apply for reduction in the amount garnished.

For starters, I did not receive any letter from Pressler and Pressler that they have pursued this.

What is the logical option to pursue at this time: either object to the garnishment or reduction? I live in NJ and the amount in question is about $1500.

Thanks - Y

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Ok .. I can offer a bit more explanation:

A judgement was entered against me - I was served alright, but I was out of the country, and by the time I came back it was entered. This was in January 2011

I accepted the judgement, agreed on payment terms with Pressler and Pressler. I paid until June 2011, when job changes prevented me from continuing. I pleaded with them to revise the payment terms but they wouldn't budge.

Early september, I called them to resume payments. they refused, asking for the full balance. I told them I couldn't. He then told me they are ready to proceed with garnishment. So I went ahead and made the September payment which they acknowledged receipt of.

This week, I received a writ of garnishment - which was actually dated June 2011. Strangely, I never received any letter from them indicating that they were pursuing this avenue, even in June.

My HR informed me that unless alternative arrangements are made, the first payment would go out at the end of this month.

So should I oppose the garnishment or plead for reduction in payments?

Thanks - Y

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I think the question pertains to what the origin of the debt was for the judgment. And why does your post state your location is PA when your profile states you live in NJ? Different states have different laws. PA does not allow wage garnishment, except for student loans, child support, taxes, and landlord-tenant debts.

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The garnishment was for a credit card debt.

I work in PA, but live in NJ. Yes, I am away PA does not allow garnishment, but the company where I works for has a branch in NJ, so the writ was served on the NJ location, which was ultimately forwarded to the main office in PA.

Hope this helps - Y

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You might want to dig into this more closely or even consult a consumer attny.

You got sued in NJ so you have a NJ Judgment against you. You work in PA exclusively? Do you ever report to a location or an individual in NJ? Your Judgment is in effect in NJ and thus has to follow NJ laws concerning judgments (exemptions, duration, whether it can be renewed etc)

Heres the problem: Your NJ Judgment has zero force in PA. None. Zip. Nada. A local civil judge has no authority across the line in PA.

In order for this to have any weight in PA the NJ Judgment is "supposed" to be domesticated to PA in which case it now is a "PA" Judgment and thus follows the laws of PA (i.e. no Garnishment).

Heres where it gets sticky though. Not sure about PA but some "no garnishment" states are wishy washy about it and say that if you are sued in a state besides theirs they will "honor" the other states judgment without domestication (leaving aside the concept of whether that other state had personal jurisdiction of you entirely, which it probably didnt).

You MIGHT (and I emphasize might) be able to get this reversed by talking to the right people. It sounds to me like your company is taking the path of least resistance and allowing a bogus garnishment though on you simply because its easy for them.

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and here are some links for you to try. Some of them are quite relevant to your situation.

Consumer Litigation Group

Pennsylvania (PA) Garnishment Law

Pennsylvania Wage Garnishment Law

The consensus from what Im reading seems to be "probably not" as to whether they can legally do this.

Several references are made to that a person receives this garnishment protection if they both live and work in PA. You only do one but Im not sure if that exempts them. If you do 100% of your work in PA im not sure you couldnt contest this and make them adhere to PA laws.

The problem comes as the guy in one of the links says with the "full faith and credit" situation.

Also the full faith and credit has been interpreted to mean that a state must allow domestication of a foreign states valid judgment, NOT that they must now adhere to the foreign states laws, although some wimpy states like NC have interpreted it this way apparently :(

Hope this helps at all. You might want to contact that lawyer that wrote some of the blogs. Might get a free consult.

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