Sarah Edwards | June 02, 2023
Edited by Hannah Locklear
Summary: If you’re facing a debt lawsuit or wage garnishment, you might wonder whether you need a lawyer to help defend you. SoloSuit explains what to expect from a wage garnishment lawyer.
Wage garnishment is serious business. A creditor who wins the right to garnish your wages can make your life miserable by seizing a large portion of your weekly income. If you’re currently experiencing wage garnishment, you may find it hard to pay for things you need, like a place to live and food to eat.
People who are not under wage garnishment but see the signs that a creditor might sue them should prepare themselves. A creditor who wins a debt lawsuit against you will gain a judgment they can use to garnish your wages or freeze your bank account. In some cases, it makes sense to hire a wage garnishment lawyer to protect you.
A wage garnishment lawyer can defend you in a debt lawsuit or help you exempt some of your earnings from wage garnishment. If you’re experiencing severe financial issues, a wage garnishment lawyer can help you decide whether bankruptcy is an option.
Remember, no creditor can garnish your wages without winning permission from the court. If you’ve recently received notice of a pending debt lawsuit, it’s critical to take action fast before the creditor wins the case.
Wage garnishment lawyers charge a fee for their services, ranging from a few hundred to several thousand dollars. Before hiring an attorney, consider the amount of the debt lawsuit. If you owe less than $1,000, a lawyer’s services might not be worthwhile.
You can handle many of the tasks of a wage garnishment lawyer for minor debt lawsuits. SoloSuit has the tools to help you file an Answer to a debt lawsuit or attempt a settlement, both of which will help you avoid wage garnishment.
Watch the following video to learn how to respond to a debt lawsuit.
Debt lawsuits start when a creditor files a Complaint against you in your local court. You’ll receive a copy of the Complaint along with a court Summons. The Complaint will list information about your debt, including the amount you owe and your account number.
You must respond to a Complaint with a formal document known as an Answer. An Answer lists defenses to the lawsuit and prevents the creditor from asking the judge for a default judgment. If you hire a wage garnishment lawyer, they’ll prepare your Answer for you. However, you can also draft an Answer yourself.
If you don’t have a defense against the lawsuit that will hold water with the judge, it’s best to repay or settle the debt before your court date. Repaying the debt means you won’t need to worry about court anymore since you’ll no longer owe any money to the creditor.
However, you might not have the financial means to repay the full debt in time. In that case, you can try debt settlement.
In a debt settlement, you offer the creditor a portion of the debt in a lump-sum payment. The creditor agrees to drop the lawsuit against you and release you from the remaining obligation. A wage garnishment lawyer can assist you with the settlement process and work out a deal you and your creditor accept.
Let’s consider an example.
Example: Patricia owes $7,000 on a credit card with King Financial. After months of nonpayment, King Financial sues Patricia for the debt. Patricia’s court date is in three weeks, but she doesn’t have enough money to repay the debt. Patricia wants to avoid a judgment, so she hires a wage garnishment lawyer. Her lawyer uses SoloSuit to draft an Answer to her case but tells her she’s unlikely to win. He advises debt settlement and negotiates an agreement with King Financial for $3,500. Her attorney charges her $1,000 for his services, so Patricia pays $4,500. She avoids a judgment and wage garnishment for the full amount of the debt.
If you don’t have the money for a debt settlement, very few alternatives outside bankruptcy can help you avoid a judgment. However, some states have laws that protect some of your income from garnishment.
You may want to explore debt settlement options without hiring an attorney. If that’s the case, use SoloSettle to send and receive settlement offers until you reach an agreement with your creditor or debt collector.
The primary issue with hiring a wage garnishment lawyer is the cost. Hiring an attorney usually doesn't make sense in minor disputes of a few thousand dollars. Attorney’s fees may increase the amount you pay by 50% or more, and there’s no guarantee the attorney can prevent a judgment against you.
Carefully consider whether your case warrants a lawyer or whether handling the matter yourself is better.
Want to avoid court? Use SoloSettle to settle your debt before the court date.
SoloSuit makes it easy to fight debt collectors.
You can use SoloSuit to respond to a debt lawsuit, to send letters to collectors, and even to settle a debt.
SoloSuit's Answer service is a step-by-step web-app that asks you all the necessary questions to complete your Answer. Upon completion, we'll have an attorney review your document and we'll file it for you.
Here's a list of guides for other states.
Being sued by a different debt collector? Were making guides on how to beat each one.
You can ask your questions on the SoloSuit forum and the community will help you out. Whether you need help now are are just look for support, we're here for you.
Is your credit card company suing you? Learn how you can beat each one.
Need more info on statutes of limitations? Read our 50-state guide.
Need help managing your finances? Check out these resources.
Out Debt Validation Letter is the best way to respond to a collection letter. Many debt collectors will simply give up after receiving it.
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