What to Do if You Receive a Summons for Unpaid Bills

Receiving a summons can be a very stressful situation!  Here's what you should know about a summons and more importantly, what you need to do about it:

It seems like a week doesn't go by that a prospect or one of our clients receives a SUMMONS.

Most of the time, a SUMMONS is delivered to you at home.  But in some cases, it may be mailed by certified mail or delivered to your place of employment.

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Before I explain what you need to do, you need to know why this is happening and what you can do to prevent it in the future!

When you find yourself in a financial hardship due to any number of reasons, most likely, you just can't afford to keep up with the minimum payments due on your credit accounts.

At first, after the creditor doesn't receive the payment that is due, you will get a statement with a warning (along with extra LATE FEES and added INTEREST) telling you how much you need to send in this month to catch up.

When you can't make that payment (and of course, you can't), you may start getting calls from a representative of the company.

I know you would like to explain your situation and would like to get a "little sympathy", but most of the time, the rep just doesn't care.  

I suggest that you either ignore those calls or if you just can't resist, say something like:

"I'm going through a very hard time and just cannot afford to make any payments at this time.  I plan to get caught up in the near future, but for now,  please stop calling me!"

Don't wait for an answer, just HANG UP.

Most likely, the calls will either stop or slow down and now you'll start getting letters.

These letters may threaten to "charge off" your account and turn it over to a debt collector or to an attorney.

This usually happens after 3-4 months of non payment, but sometimes, they may wait 6 months or more.

But, at some time, they will send these accounts to a collection agency or a law firm that deals mainly with debt collection.

Now, you will start getting calls and letters from them.

You can also put a  stop the calls now (before, the original creditor had the right to call you).

This will explain:

STOP Collection Calls Free Sample Letter

If your circumstances don't change, and you can't negotiate a repayment or settlement agreement with the collectors, they may decide to start their "legal options" by filing a claim.

Once the claim (legal claim that you owe the debt) a SUMMONS will be delivered or sent to you.

The SUMMONS is going to say something like:

"You must APPEAR and give an ANSWER to this claim."

Without going into a long explanation, this basically just means that if you don't owe the money the PLAINTIFF is CLAIMING, you (the DEFENDANT), must provide PROOF to the court.  

This must be done in a short period of time (usually 20-30 days from the date of delivery) and it must be in "legally correct form" which usually requires an attorney's help.

Most of the time, you (the Defendant), owes the money, so when you don't give an ANSWER to the court, then the the attorney may apply to the court for a date in order to be awarded a JUDGMENT by DEFAULT.

Before this happens, here's what you need to do....

Even if the summons has been delivered, the creditor (plaintiff) may still be willing to accept a SETTLEMENT or a STIPULATED AGREEMENT:

Debt Settlement

Depending on your particular circumstances, you may be able to negotiate a settlement/reduced payment of the balance.

For example, if you are retired and receiving only Social Security or Retirement benefits as your only source of income, these funds are 100% EXEMPT from any levy or garnishment even if a judgment has been awarded!

If you are disabled, and only receiving SSI and/or Disability Benefits, these are also 100% EXEMPT from any levy or garnishment.

There are several other situations where you may have LEVERAGE to negotiate a settlement.

It's not easy, but very possible.  We do this everyday for many of our clients:

Recent Settlements See what we have  done for our clients!

Stipulated Agreement

If you cannot negotiate a settlement, the law firm may apply to the court for a WRIT OF GARNISHMENT.  

With this, they can GARNISH YOUR WAGES and/or  FUNDS IN YOUR BANK ACCOUNT!  For most people, this would be devastating.

Many times, a creditor (or attorney for the plaintiff), may be willing to agree to a series of payments to repay the debt instead of garnishment.  Of course, by now, the balance is much more due to interest, fees, court costs, etc.

As long as you meet the terms of the agreement, the attorney will not go forward with a garnishment or bank levy.

As you can see, a SUMMONS is serious and you can't ignore it!

I hope this information has helped, but if you feel like you need more information, then click here:

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Tags: summons, debt collector, stipulated agreement, oregon wage garnishment, Oregon debt collection

Oregon Wage Garnishment...How to Prevent...How to Stop

A wage garnishment can be financially devastating, taking 25% of you net, take-home paycheck!

Here what you need to know to prevent or how to stop garnishments.

woman_on_floor_with_all_her_bills.jpgA wage garnishment doesn't "just happen".  After years and years of assisting people with debt problems, it still always amazes me when one of our prospects or newer clients that have received a notice from their employer that their pay check is going to be garnished, says something like:

I had no idea that this could happen.  I never received anything about it.

 How did this happen?

OK... Time Out!!!

A wage garnishment (technically called a Writ of Garnishment) can't happen without several steps preceding the order.

Let's start from the start...

You have several credit cards or other unsecured debts and because of something that has happened to you, such as:

  • Divorce
  • Severe illness or disability
  • Death of spouse or loved one
  • Too little fixed income after retirement

...now you just cannot keep up with the minimum payments due and start missing payments or just stop making payments all together.

When this happens, the creditor will start calling and writing letters trying to find out what is going on and to see if something can be done to get you to start making payments again.

If you ignore these calls and/or letters (and many, many people do), then the original creditor has no choice but to charge off, transfer or even sell the account to a debt collector or debt buyer.

Now the calls and letters really start to increase!

The good news is that you can put a stop to these annoying and sometimes harassing calls:

STOP Collection Calls Free Sample Letter

Just follow the link above, and the calls will stop.

But, that doesn't mean that these debt collectors are going to stop their efforts to get you to pay!

So what should you do?

Let's say that you have several credit cards and because of going through a serious illness or injury, you have not been able to work, your income went down, and now, you are not able to make even the minimum required payments due.

When the creditor or collector calls, you may be able to negotiate a SETTLEMENT.

Again, depending on a number of circumstances, the creditor or collector may accept an amount that is 40% - 60% of the balance.

Recent Settlements See what we have  done for our clients!

If you don't engage them, then the creditor or collector may decide to FILE A CLAIM against you in the county court where you live.

After the Claim has been filed, a SUMMONS will be issued and you will be SERVED the summons.  This could be at home or even at work!

When you receive the Summons, again, you CAN NOT IGNORE THE SUMMONS!  Even after the summons has issued and served, you should still be able to negotiate either a settlement or a repayment agreement.

But, if you don't, then there will be a court date set, and the creditor/collector will be awarded a DEFAULT JUDGMENT.

Once the judgment has been awarded, the Plaintiff (creditor/collector) can apply for a WRIT OFGARNISHMENT.  This will be sent to your employer and your employer has no choice but to obey the Writ!

Most likely, your state demands that the employer withhold an additions 25% of your net check (after taxes and required deductions have been removed).

This can be devastating!  Here's an example:

  • You earn $36,000/year or $3,000/month.  
  • You are paid every two weeks and that bi-monthly check is $1500.
  • State and Federal taxes equal 30%, so $450 is withheld and your net check is now $1,050.
  • Your employer must withhold an additions 25% or $262.50.
  • That's $525 each month!  You think it was hard to pay bills before...

I'm thinking you are starting to understand, that you cannot just ignore your debts, letters or calls, and especially a summons.

If you did, and now you have a wage garnishment, here's what you can do:

Contact the attorney for the plaintiff (that's the collector or creditor).

Explain you situation and if you have it (most likely you won't) offer a lump sum settlement on a reduced balance.

Usually, they won't take a reduction, but if the offer is large enough, they might.

Most of the time, they will be willing to accept an agreement whereby you pay them, say $200 -$300 a month (instead of, in this example, $525/month).

But, due to your financial hardship, you just can't afford any payment or the garnishment?

In this case, you should seek the services of a bankruptcy attorney.  This may be your only choice to protect yourself from the creditors!

I hope you understand my simple point....

  • A wage garnishment doesn't just happen.
  • If it does, you still have options.
  • The key is to take action!  Don't just "hide your head in the sand"!

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Tags: stop wage garnishment, dealing with debt collectors, summons, how to prevent wage garnishment, oregon wage garnishment, default judgment

How to Deal With a Wage Garnishment in Oregon (or most any state!)

If you think it is hard to make ends meet now, what would you do if you had 25% of your paycheck taken as a result of a garnishment?

22853064975_8c547f714f_m.jpgBefore I show you how to deal with a wage garnishment here in Oregon (or for most any state), let's get some things straight:

THIS GARNISHMENT DIDN'T JUST HAPPEN!

I can't tell you how many times one of our clients calls to tell us that a debt collector or creditor just garnished their paycheck and they had no idea it would be happening.

OK, I know that in some VERY RARE CASES, they may have not received or seen the SUMMONS that came in person or by registered mail, but in most cases, they got it, but just ignored it.

Brief review of the collection process and how this happened:

If you find yourself in a very difficult financial situations due to a number of things, such as:

  • Loss of employment
  • Divorce
  • Death of spouse or partner
  • Illness or disability
  • Too little income after retirement

...and, you simply cannot keep up with the minimum payments required by your creditors, here's what usually happens:

When you miss a scheduled payment, you may get a phone call or letter.

If you don't reply or miss another, you ABSOLUTELY will get a phone call or letter....lots of em'!!!

(I'll show you how to ultimately put a stop to these calls later, but for now, let's keep moving through the process that could lead to a WAGE GARNISHMENT.)

The creditors wants to do whatever they can to get you to start making payments again.

You may get a letter offering to "bring your account current if you make "such-n-such" payment by a certain date.

Or, they may say to call them to look into a "Hardship Program" (which I really don't like).

But if you just can't afford any payment after paying  rent, utilities and buying groceries, WHAT NOW?

In most cases, the original will CHARGE OFF the balance of the debt you owe them.

This means that they are going to report to the 3 major credit bureaus:

  • Experian
  • Equifax
  • TransUnion

...that they didn't pay them back as promised and they have lost a lot of money!

Your account will most likely be transferred or sold to a debt collection agency.  This may even be a Law Firm that only deals with debt collection.

Now, you start getting calls and letters from the debt collector, but the good news is that now, you can LEGALLY STOP THE CALLS.

As long as your account was with the original creditor, they had the right to call you about your account.

But, once that account is charged off and placed with a collection agency, you have the right, according to the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, to demand that they stop calling you. 

The letters will continue, but the annoying, and sometimes HARASSING phone calls will stop.  Here's how you do it:

STOP Collection Calls Free Sample Letter

But, just because they have stopped calling doesn't mean that they have stopped trying to collect!

If they cannot get you to start making payments to them (they may even offer a reduction in the balance...called a SETTLEMENT) then they may decide to FILE A CLAIM against you in your county's courthouse.

The debt collector's CLAIM say that you have not fulfilled the promise to repay this debt and they are going to seek legal action against you....sue you!

You will get a SUMMONS, and it will state all of the above and it will state that you have 20-30 days (varies by state) in order to give an ANSWER.

OK, lots of "big words" there, so let me give a simple definition:

SETTLEMENT  

This is when the creditor and/or the debt collector agrees to a substantial reduction of the balance to settle this account, once and for all.

If your interested, here's some actual examples of settlements we have negotiated for some of our clients:

Recent Settlements See what we have  done for our clients!

CLAIM   

The Debt Collector or in some cases the original creditor files a claim in court that you owe them money. When this happens, you get "served" a SUMMONS.

 

SUMMONS

The summons names you as a DEFENDANT and the Creditor or Debt Collector is the Plaintiff.  They have "claimed" that you owe this debt unless you can prove it, and I mean, absolutely prove it with copies of canceled checks, etc.

 

ANSWER

If you know, for certain AND CAN PROVE IT....FOR CERTAIN, then you have the legal right to file AN ANSWER with the court.  Not only does it cost you a FILING FEE (I believe it is about $165 here in Oregon), it has to be legally correct. 

In other words, you may think about hiring an attorney to prepare the ANSWER. And, of course, that costs more money!

But, IN MOST CASES, you really do owe the money, so giving an "ANSWER" is not necessary.

So, NOW WHAT?????

If you cannot negotiate a settlement or arrange a repayment agreement, the Plaintiff (debt collector), may decide to just go forward with a court date in order to be awarded a JUDGMENT.

Once the JUDGMENT has been awarded to the Plaintiff, they can apply for a WRIT OF GARNISHMENT.

This Writ of Garnishment is sent to your employer and your employer has no choice but to honor it.  This means that they are going to withhold (after all of the other withholdings) another 25% of your net, take-home paycheck!

So you see, this garnishment didn't just happen....there was a long process and it could have been stopped numerous times along the way!

What too many people do when they finds themselves in a terrible, financial hardship is to "hide their head in the sand" rather than seek numerous solutions.

Believe me, the last thing most creditors what to do is to have to spend the time and money to file a claim, follow up with calls and letters to you, and possibly spend more money in setting a court date, paying an attorney to represent them, etc.

Last week, we had a client call us to say that she had neglected to act on a summons she had received and the creditor (plaintiff) had been awarded the judgment....acted on the judgment....and her HR department sent her a message that her check would be garnished about $500!

We were able to contact the attorney for the collector and negotiate a repayment plan (you rarely get much, if any of a reduction/settlement after a judgment has been awarded) whereby our client agreed to pay only $200 per month until the balance was paid.

She could not handle the loss of $500, but she could make $200 work.

FINALLY....

Here in Oregon (or in any state for that matter), the best way to deal with a garnishment is to not let it get to that state.

But, if it has, then you may be able to get a reasonable repayment agreement in place.

If you need help or guidance, let us know:

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Tags: debt settlement, hardship plans, summons, debt collector, oregon wage garnishment, debts

Preventing Wage Garnishment in Oregon

It is much easier to PREVENT a WAGE GARNISHMENT than to STOP A WAGE GARNISHMENT! If it's already hard to pay bills with your take home pay, what would you do if that was cut by 25% more!

Here are some VERY IMPORTANT things you must know in advance.

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I've been helping people deal with debt issues for almost 15 years now.

I've taken hundreds of calls from stressed-out, scared, "OMG, what am I going to do now?" people who had had their payroll check garnished!

The title of this blog is Preventing Wage Garnishment in Oregon, but it applies to all states.

OK, so how do you PREVENT a Wage Garnishment?

If you have just started to fall behind or have fallen behind on making the required payments on your credit cards or other unsecured debts, here is what normally happens BEFORE a wage garnishment begins:

  • First, you get calls & letters from your original creditor
  • Then, you get Calls & letters from a debt collector
  • You may be issued a Summons
  • You may get a Judgment awarded against you
  • Finally, you may be Garnished

 

Let's walk through what you MUST DO in order to PREVENT A WAGE GARISHMENT:

 

Calls & letters from your original creditor(s)

When you are behind in making your monthly payments due to your creditors, those creditors will try  to help you get caught up and/or get a fresh start on repaying your debt.

Let's face, the creditors want to get repaid plus interest and fees, so at first (maybe the first 3 months or so you are behind), they will call and send letters.

Unfortunately, as long as your account is with the original creditor, they have the right to call you EVEN if you write a letter to stop calling.

Now, once they charge off or assign your account to another agency...debt collector, you can put a stop to those calls.  I'll show you how in just a minute.

I understand how stressful and possibly embarrassing it is to get calls like that, so at this point, rather than ignore them, try saying something like this:

"Yes I know that I am behind, and I fully intend to get caught up just as soon as possible.  But, please stop calling me."

Sometimes this works and the original creditor will reduce or even eliminate the calls. 

But, don't expect that to happen every time.

Sometimes they can be very rude!  In that case, don't waste your time trying to explain or arguie,  just hang up!

As to the letters....

You may get a letter offering you:

  • Reduced payments for 6 months or so to allow you to get caught up...or,
  • A settlement offer to reduce the balance you owe, if you can that amount in a lump sum or just a few months.

While I am not in favor of the first offer which is called a "Hardship Plan", sometimes the SETTLEMENT OFFER is not bad...if you have the funds to take advantage of it!

If the original creditor cannot get you into some kind of repayment plan or  "back on track" in 3-4 months, they most likely will charge off, transfer or sell you account to a debt collector.

 

Calls & letters from a debt collector

 

ISo, the calls and letters start again!  Lots of calls and letters!

But now, you can put a stop to those calls.  Here's how:

STOP Collection Calls Free Sample Letter

But again, just because the calls stop, the letters continue, so you are not "out of the woods" yet!

Depending on the type of debt collector your account has landed with, you may be able to get a settlement, whether in a lump sum payment or possibly a settlement paid out over several months.

Here are some actual debt settlements we have completed for our clients:

Recent Settlements See what we have  done for our clients!

If your still not able to make REASONABLE payment toward a settlement, then the debt collector may decide to FILE A CLAIM and then you would get a SUMMONS.

 

Summons

 

If you have ever had a summons delivered to you at home or even at work, it is a very stressful and humiliating experience!

Although most of the time the summons is delivered, in person, by a person contracted by the debt collector, sometimes a summons may be delivered by a sheriff officer!

 

BUT....DON'T....FREAK....OUT!

 

  • You are not going to jail!
  • They are not going to take your TV or other "stuff".
  • In about 99.9% of the time, you are never going to court.

So again....

DON'T....FREAK....OUT!

The SUMMONS will state who the PLAINTIFF is (that's the creditor or debt collector) and name you as the DEFENDANT.

It will also state what the amount of the claim is (how much you owe now, including interest, fees, etc.)

Then it will state something to the effect that you have"20 (or 30) days to give an ANSWER to the court at (address, etc.).

 

DOES THIS MEAN YOU HAVE TO GO TO COURT?

 

NO! NO! NO!

 

It means that if you KNOW FOR CERTAIN and HAVE PROOF that you do not owe this CLAIM, then you can file an ANSWER to the court in the allotted time (usually 20-30 days from receipt of the summons).

The ANSWER must be in the correct, legal document form and so you most likely will need an attorney to prepare itAnd, in addition to attorney fees, their is a hefty fee to file the ANSWER with the court!

So again, don't start down that road unless you know you can prove that the claim has no merit!

 

CAN A CREDITOR OR COLLECTOR GARNISH YOUR WAGES OR BANK ACCOUNT AT THIS POINT???

 

NO!

It is a misunderstanding that just because you are behind on your payments a creditor or collector can get a wage garnishment.  NOT TRUE!!!

Before that can happen, a JUDGMENT must be awarded by the court.

I'll explain more in just a minute...

 

OK, YOU GOT THE SUMMONS, YOU OWE THE DEBT....NOW WHAT?

 

This could be the most important point for you to take from this article...

 

DO NOT IGNORE THE SUMMONS !

 

I can't tell you the number of times a prospective client or even one of our current client calls and says that they have been garnished and admitted that they had received the summons, but just ignored it!

 

REALLY????   WHAT WERE THEY THINKING???

If a creditor or debt collector goes to the EXPENSE and TROUBLE OF FILING THE CLAIM and PAYING FOR IT TO BE DELIVERED, DON'T YOU THINK THEY ARE SERIOUS?

On the other hand....

In most cases, we have helped our clients AVOID GARNISHMENT by either negotiating a:

  • SETTLEMENT, LUMP SUM OR TERM PAYMENTS on a reduced balance, or
  • STIPULATED AGREEMENT

So, just because you have received a summons does not mean it's too late, but, we need to move fast to prevent a...

 

Judgment

 

Most of the time, a person who is in such a severe financial situation that they cannot keep up with their debts and these debts have gone to a debt collector and a settlement or repayment plan could not be arranged, a DEFAULT JUDGMENT will be granted by the court to the plaintiff (creditor or debt collector).

Now, once the JUDGMENT has been awarded, NOW, AND ONLY NOW, they (the plaintiff) can apply for a WRIT OF GARNISHMENT.

Most states allow for up to 25% of the "take home/after tax check" to be garnished (deducted) !!!!

There are EXEMPTIONS FROM WAGE GARNISHMENT.

Some include:

In Oregon, income under $218 after tax/take home income. In other words, if you bring home less than $915 per month, you cannot be garnished.

Other sources of income that are exempt from garnishment:

  • Social Security
  • Retirement
  • Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
  • Public assistance (welfare)
  • Unemployment benefits
  • Disability Income (other than SSI)
  • Workers compensation
  • Spousal and Child support

WARNING!!!   If you have a judgment against you and receive income from one or more of the sources above, you should make sure your bank understands that any garnishment request should be denied!

If you don't and the bank doesn't do it's "due fiduciary diligence" and transfers your funds, you can get them back, but it may take some time!

 

OK, if you were barely paying the bills before, and 25% is deducted from your check, what are you going to do now?

 

BANKRUPTCY

 

When I refer to "bankruptcy", I like to call it "BANKRUPTCY PROTECTION".

The bankruptcy laws in our country and your state, are there to PROTECT you from losing everything you have when a dire, financial crisis hits you!

Yes, I think a person should do everything possible to AVOID bankruptcy, but when all else fails, the you need to seek the help of a qualified bankruptcy attorney.

The bankruptcy attorney can not only advise you on what type of bankruptcy plan you qualify for, but they will put a stop to all calls and collection efforts by your creditors.

 

FINALLY . . .

If, or when, you face a financial hardship and you just can't keep up with the payments, you have options!

Do not...I repeat...DO NOT "hide your head in the sand"!

 

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Tags: debt collection, wage garnishment, debt settlement, oregon wage garnishment, debts, bankruptcy attorney

How Can You Stop an Oregon Wage Garnishment?

Even though you are behind on your debts, your creditors do not necessarily have the right  to garnish your wages!  An Oregon wage garnishment can be stopped, but you must understand the process.

Once your account is delinquent 150-180 days , and you have received numerous calls and letters, your account will usually be turned over to a collection agency. If, after the collection agency has called you morning noon and night, they may decide to FILE A COMPLAINT.

stop on oregon wage garnishment

After the collection agency files a complaint, you would receive a SUMMONS.  If you have received a SUMMONS, you can read more by clicking here -->>  "I Received a Summons".

Although it can be frightening to have someone knock on your door and serve you with a Summons, try to stay calm.  Most of the time, a STIPULATED AGREEMENT can be negotiated.  When a stipulated agreement is reached, the collections company will agree to accept payments and not apply for a garnishment.

A Stipulated Agreement can help if:

  • You currently receive W-2 income from your employer.
  • You usually keep a substantial amount of money in your bank account.

Why is a Stipulated Agreement better than a Wage Garnishment?

In a wage garnishment, an employer would be forced to deduct an average of 25% of your net take home pay each pay period! For most people, this would prevent them from paying their important bills like the mortgage or rent, food, and utilities.

By accepting a stipulated agreement, your monthly payment should be quite a bit less that the amount you would be garnished.

What types of income CAN'T be garnished?

  • Pension
  • Social Security
  • Unemployment
  • Disability
  • Self-Employment Income (It is very difficult for a wage garnishment to be enforced as most self-employed people take a very small "income" and in most states, this would be exempt from wage garnishment.)

*If you have any income coming in other than those listed above, do not co-mingle the two income sources!  If you deposit your Social Security check into the same account that you deposit your paychecks from a regular job, ALL of the funds would be subject to garnishment.

Can you Stop and Oregon Wage Garnishment and settle the debt for less once you have been served the summons?

YES!  If you have access to funds that equal anywhere from 50% -70% of the balance, you may be able to negotiate a LUMP SUM SETTLEMENT.

However, once the judgment has been awarded, and the Writ of Garnishment has been applied, the collection agencies are not usually willing to take a low settlement.

KEY TAKEAWAY -  THE WORST THING YOU CAN DO  IS TO DO NOTHING!

If talking to your creditors and/or collection agencies frightens you, our professional and experienced Debt Negotiators can help!  Give us a call or click on the link below for more free information.

stop an oregon wage garnishment                                 

Tags: summons, stipulated agreement, oregon wage garnishment

How Can I Stop Wage Garnishment?

stop wage garnishmentThere is a way to STOP WAGE GARNISHMENT, but it is easier to prevent than to stop!

Most states allow a creditor who has been awarded a judgment concerning a debt owed to apply for a writ of garnishment that would allow them to garnish up to 25% of your net income.

This would be devestating!

We get many calls asking us to help AFTER THE FACT, and although we often can and do stop wage garnishment, it is not easy. Before we share a couple of ideas or techniques to try, it is important that you understand the process of a wage garnishment:

When you don't pay the debt you owe (and for the purpose of this article, let's talk about a basic unsecured credit card), the creditor starts contacting you with letters and phone calls.

They can be very annoying and in some cases the creditors will violate the Fair Debt Collection Practice Act (FDCPA).  You can STOP the CALLS , but for now, let's talk about stopping wage garnishemnt.

stop wage garnishmentIf the creditor cannot get you to start paying back the debt, they may choose to file a COMPLAINT in your local county courthouse.You will receive a SUMMONS, usually hand delivered, that states that you owe the debt and have 20-30 days to respond with an ANSWER to the court.

The "ANSWER" would be your legal (has to be filed correctly and there usually is a fee) explanation why you dispute the "CLAIM" and don't owe the debt.  For 99% of those who receive a SUMMONS, they owe the debt (even though the interest and late charges added are ridiculous!), so disputing the claim is usually a waste of time and money.

At this point, YOU CANNOT IGNORE THE SUMMONS!!!!! 

If you have some money set aside, call the creditor or attorney and offer a SETTLEMENT or arrange to repay the debt in monthly installments (called a STIPULATED AGREEMENT).

A SETTLEMENT is an offer to settle the debt you owe for less than the full amount.  A creditor may accept an offer of 50%-75% if you can make it in a lump sum or possibly in 3 payments. 

A STIPULATED AGREEMENT is really just an agreement between you and the creditor/attorney to repay all of the debt at a reasonable monthly payment at a state limited interest rate. As long as you don't miss any payments, they agree to not pursue the wage garnishment.

Since they have the JUDGMENT, and know you are employed, they are guaranteed to receive 100% of the debt owed plus filing fees and court costs, so you are not in a very strong negotiating position.

If trying to Stop Wage Garnishment on our own sounds intimidating, you may need HELP! 

For a FREE ANALYSIS OF YOUR OPTIONS, contact one of our Debt Solutions Specialists at 1-877-492-4109 OR simply click the link below.

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Tags: stop wage garnishment, oregon wage garnishment, stopping debt collection calls

Oregon Wage Garnishment

If you receive a wage garnishment, knowing your rights may saveoregon wage garnishment you hundreds of dollars!

It is a common misconception that a creditor can automatically garnish your wages if you fail to pay your debts!

If a debt collector is unsuccessful in collecting for unpaid debts, they may decide to file a claim in your local county court.

You would receive a SUMMONS, which is usually hand delivered to you.

The summons basically states that you have 20-30 days (varies by state) to "answer" the claim.  An answer is what you would do if you disputed the claim.  To file an answer will usually cost you a court fee and is a waste of time and money if you owe the debt.

If you do not contact the collector and arrange a repayment plan, usually called a STIPULATED AGREEMENT, then a court date is set and the creditor or PLAINTIFF will be awarded a DEFAULT JUDGEMENT.

In other words, the creditor wins the judgment by default because there was no reason for you to contest the claim since you owe the debt.

So now that the creditor has the judgment, what can the creditor do?

If you have a job and earn normal, W-2 income, your creditor can apply for a WRIT OF GARNISHMENT. This will be sent to your employer and the employer has no choice but to comply with the WRIT.

DON'T PANIC! There are several sources of income that are exempt from garnishment:

If you receive any of the following types of income, they are exempt from wage garnishment:

  • Social Security benefits
  • Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
  • Welfare or public assistance
  • Spousal support or child support
  • Public or private pensions
  • Veterans benefits and/or loans
  • Disability proceeds of life insurance policies
  • Cash surrender value of life insurance policies
  • and many others

For a complete listing see Oregon Garnishment Forms.

If you are working, only a certain amount of your W-2 income can be garnished.  Here's an example:

Let's say you earn $15 per hour and work 40 hours per week.

1.  Gross wages for this period (example 2 weeks):

     $15 x 80 hours =                                     $1200

2.  Total deductions withheld by law                $ 360

3.  Net Disposable Wage (2-1)                        $ 840

4.  Normal exemption (OR 75% of line 3)          $ 630

5.  Minimum exemption (OR $435 for 2 wks)      $ 435

6.  Greater of line 4 or 5 = exempt wages          $ 630

7.  Nonexempt wages (6-3)                             $ 210

In this example, $210 would be withheld from your BI-Weekly check to satisfy the garnishment until the entire amount of the debt is repaid!

In Oregon (and every other state has similar exemptions), you can use the WAGE EXEMPTIONS CALCULATION WORKSHEET to determine how much can be garnished.

If you are SELF EMPLOYED, receiving 1099 or commission income, is is unlikely that an attempt of wage garnishment by a collector will be successful.

Click below for FREE INFORMATION

How to Stop Wage Garnishment

How to Eliminate Your Debt for Less

How to Stop Collection Calls


If you have questions or would like more information, please give us a call!

877-492-4109


Tags: debt collection, summons, stipulated agreements, oregon wage garnishment