by John G. Merna
A non-governmental creditor with a judgment in Virginia can garnish up to 25 percent
of your wages and all of the money in your savings and checking account.
The unfortunate reality of stopping a garnishment is that you only have two options:
1) qualify for an exemption that would protect the underlying funds being garnished,
or 2) attack the original judgment which would require you to request the case be
reopened and require legitimate grows for challenging the legitimacy of the judgment being entered in the first place.
Generally, exemption protection to halt or more accurately defer a present attempt to garnish your wages or savings fall in two categories also: 1) protection available because the origin of the funds are from a protected source like retirement, social security, child support, etc., or 2) the wage amount you receive is so small as to be considered not sufficient to garnish.
In the case of an exemption claim, you need to apply to the court for a hearing. In the case of attacking the underlying judgment, the cost of an attorney to represent you in the matter and the generally low probability of success don’t make this option the most cost effective.
In most cases, a person being garnished can generally get some of the money back if they act quickly but are less likely to stop the garnishment from continuing. Getting the money back that has been garnished can often help you stop the garnishment by making it possible for you to afford to hire a bankruptcy lawyer.
The Virginia homestead exemption, which is asserted by the filing of a Virginia homestead deed, can be a powerful but limited solution to recovering your garnished money.
Read our book today on how a Virginia homestead deed can help.