Wage Garnishments and Bankruptcy

Filing bankruptcy may prevent wage garnishment by an aggressive creditor. In fact, you may even recover garnished wages through bankruptcy. Keep in mind that exceptions do apply. Read on for more information regarding wage garnishments from our Springfield bankruptcy attorney.

Automatic Stay

An automatic stay forces creditors to stop most collection activities, in this case, wage garnishment. The automatic stay applies once you’ve filed for bankruptcy. Therefore, bankruptcy filers are exempt from wage garnishments. In order to resume garnishing your wages, the creditor must request the bankruptcy court to lift the stay.


Priority debts such alimony or child support are not affected by the automatic stay. Moreover, these debts are considered nondischargeable. In other words, filing bankruptcy will not wipe out these debts.

After Bankruptcy

In the event that your bankruptcy case is dismissed without a discharge, the automatic stay will end. This allows the creditor to resume wage garnishment. However, if you receive a discharge that includes the debt responsible for the garnished wages, the creditor can no longer collect the debt.

Recovering Garnished Wages

Depending on your situation, you may recover some garnished wages prior to filing bankruptcy. In general, the conditions are as follows:

Wages garnished amount to over $600
Wages were garnished within 90 days of the filing date
Your exemptions cover these wages
You may file a complaint along with your bankruptcy to recover the wages, if you meet the listed criteria. Hiring a Springfield bankruptcy attorney to file the complaint may prove economically beneficial if you’re looking to recover a large sum of money

Contact an Experienced Springfield Bankruptcy Attorney

If creditors are garnishing your wages, please contact a Springfield bankruptcy attorney immediately. Consulting a lawyer early may save you from financial heartache later on. If you’re considering bankruptcy, contact a Springfield bankruptcy attorney at the Law Offices of Eric Kornblum today.