Money doesn't grow on trees! You work hard every day to bring home your pay check and support your family, so it can be devastating when your creditors can come and "PICK" your hard earned wages.
It is sometimes possible to stop a wage garnishment, but it is better to PREVENT a wage garnishment!
How can you PREVENT WAGE GARNISHMENT?
Once you have fallen behind in paying on your credit or store cards, medical bills, personal line of credit, private student loan and any other UNSECURED debt, your creditors will start to call.
Once they have made repeated collection calls and sent you numerous collection letters, your creditors will start to threaten all sorts of things including "Pursuing Legal Action".
I know that it is scary, and it would be much easier to bury your head in the sand and ignor the creditors. But, if you do, you may end up in a hole that you can't is too deep to get our of! You need to be PRO-ACTIVE and CONTACT YOUR CREDITOR(S) IN WRITING stating that you cannot make payments at this time and plan on repaying this bill when you can.
This will not stop their collection efforts, but it will help slow down their options for filing a claim for the debt. When you owe a debt, the creditor has the right to collect of course. However, they are supposed to do so within the laws stated in the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). Many unscrupulous collections agencies will ignore these laws, so it's extremely important that you KNOW YOUR RIGHTS, and stand up for your self throughout this process. (Read More: "Know Your Rights When Dealing With Debt Collectors")
CREATE A CRISIS BUDGET
A CRISIS BUDGET is a short term budgeting tool that you can use when you have an unexpected income reduction or need to free up some money in your existing budget for an emergency. I would say that this qualifies as an emergency!
Take a close look at your budget, if you have one, and see how closely it matches to your ACTUAL SPENDING. Most people create an ideal budget, but in reality their spending habits are significantly different.
Once you have a clear picture or where your money is really going each month, look for areas of general improvement first. Could you start making coffee at home a few days a week, or start bringing your lunch and eating out at work only once per week? How about carpooling to work to save money on gas? These are goals that are realistic over the long run, but will usually not make enough difference in a state of crisis.
Next, identify any areas in your budget that can be reduced for the next 6-12 months. Can you live with basic cable instead of the premium cable TV package? Is it possible to defer your student loan payments for a while? Try calling your utility companies and see if they have a temporary hardship program. Get creative. After all, this is a CRISIS BUDGET. You won't have to stick to it forever.
CALL YOUR CREDITORS
Now that you have re-evaluated your budget and freed up some money, you know what you have to work with. This gives you power when you contact your collection agencies.
The collector may accept a SETTLEMENT OFFER for less than you owe, or they may let you repay the debt over several months at a reduced interest rate.
Be strong, and stick to what you can actually pay. Your creditors want your payments coming in each month. They make money when they get to charge you interest, so it makes sense for them to work something out with you. There is no point in working out a SETTLEMENT or REPAYMENT PLAN that you cannot pay!REMEMBER:
- If you have delinquent debts, BE PROACTIVE! Don't just ignore the calls and letters.
- Create a CRISIS BUDGET that you can stick to while you are repaying your debt!
- Try to work out a SETTLEMENT AGREEMENT or a REPAYMENT PLAN with the creditor or collection agency, and make sure that the payments fit into your crisis budget!
If all of this sounds like "TOO MUCH", then give us a call. We have been helping people settle debts and prevent wage garnishment for 10 years.
WE CAN HELP YOU TOO!