Here's some very helpful tips on how to put a stop to wage garnishment in Oregon.
First you must understand that a debt collector cannot simply be awarded a wage garnishment for unsecured debts without first having gone through the legal process:
- File a claim in your county courthouse
- A SUMMONS is delivered to you
- Default judgment is awarded if no settlement can be reached
- Apply for a Writ of Garnishment
OK, you've been having a very challenging time, financially due to circumstances beyond your control, such as:
- Loss of employment
- Death in the family
- Fixed income of retirement
Although you have done your best to try and keep up with your minimum payments, a couple of your accounts have been turned over to a COLLECTION AGENCY, and they have been calling day and night...driving you nuts!
YOU CAN PUT A STOP TO THIS:
DON'T IGNORE THE COLLECTION LETTERS
Most debt collectors and debt collection agencies are willing to work out a repayment and/or settlement of the debt you owe.
Having said, "...you owe...", let's make sure that you really do owe the debt before you pay for something you shouldn't.
The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act allows a debtor who feels that they do not owe the debt claimed by the creditor/collector to require a DEBT VALIDATION.
After you write a letter demanding that the debt collector validate the debt, they must not only stop collection activity (calls, letters, etc.), but provide you with proof that the debt is legitimate.
Some debt collectors are actually "debt purchasers", who buy lists of so-called debts at pennies-on-the-dollar, hoping to get someone to pay who may or may not actually owe the debt.
Here's a FREE Sample Letter for you to use:
One more thing about making sure you actually owe this debt:
Make sure the STAUTE OF LIMITATIONS for you state has not expired.
For example, in my home state, Oregon, the statue of limitations on unsecured debt is 6 years. This means that if there has been no payments on this account for over 6 years, the debt must be removed from all credit reporting agencies and cannot be collected on any more!
So, now that you have determined if the debt is legitimately yours, it's time to contact the debt collector.
Prepare yourself for a small battle on this! These are professional debt collectors and they are usually paid a percentage of what they can get you to pay.
Tell them you intend to pay the debt, but you just don't have anything now.
Don't let them trick you into paying just a little bit ($25 or so) "to keep the account in this office" or "to keep the account from going to the legal department". If the account has passed statute of limitations, that "little payment", could reset the clock!!!
But, for the sake of this blog, Wage Garnishment in Oregon...How to Stop, if you have received notice of a wage garnishment, here's what you can do:
Your employer has no choice but to comply with a WRIT OF GARNISHMENT. If they ignore it or do not reply, they could receive a hefty fine!
But, make sure that you are making enough money to qualify for a garnishment! In Oregon, if you take home income is about $850-$900 or so, they you cannot be garnished.
Here's the Oregon site that will help.
Just make sure your employer is aware of the exemption limits.
By the way, if you are receiving certain types of income, these cannot be garnished.
Basically, all retirement income, social security, disiability income, etc. is exempt.
But if your income is not exempt, then to put a stop to a wage garnishment, you must contact the debt collector and/or attorney for the debt collector and arrange a STIPULATED AGREEMENT.
You will need to be prepared to demonstrate to the debt collector or attorney that you are in a very bad financial situation and the wage garnishment will force you into bankruptcy unless they agree to a stipulated agreement.
Prepare a basic household budget showing all of your income and expenditures. You may have to provide a couple of months of bank account statements and maybe a pay stub or two.
But if you can demonstrate how bad things are, they may be willing to enter into a stipulated agreement.
Now, if by chance you could find a large lump sum, say 50% -75% of the balance, they may and most likely, will take that as a settlement and release the judgment.
I know, but maybe you have someone who could help...just asking.
Of course, if you get the Stipulated Agreement or Settlement Agreement, make sure to get it in writing!
The real key to stopping a wage garnishment in Oregon or any state for that matter is to be pro-active. Don't just ignore the letters and especially don't ignore the summons.
In most cases, a debt collector will be willing to work with you.