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What do I do if a creditor attaches my wages in NJ?

A common tactic used by creditors attempting to collect money from you is to serve your employer with a wage execution, which essentially forces them to deduct a payment to them out of your pay check.  This, along with a bank levy, are the two most commonly used tools in a creditor's toolbox, and they each have their pros and cons.

Bank levies are a "roll of the dice" in hopes of hitting a peak in your account's running balance.  If timed right, it can result in a lot of money collected right away, with no limit other than the balance owed.  A wage attachment, or execution, is more likely to result in money paid, but there are limits, and the debt can be paid out over months or even years.   But what do you do if it happens to you?

How Do I Fight It?

A creditor seeking to attach wages must first put you and your employer on notice by filing and serving a Notice of Application for Wage Execution.  You would then have ten (10) days to file a written objection witht he court and have them schedule a hearing.

If you do nothing, an Order for Wage Execution will issue and, barring attachments with a prior claim, the deductions will start.  If you file the objection, there are a limited number of defenses, among them:

  • You no longer work for that employer (although the creditor will eventually find that out and the attachment will fail)
  • You already have a wage attachment in place (in which case the creditor will simply preserve its place in line, unless the current one is permanent, such as for alimony or child support)
  • The stream of income is exempt (e.g. Social Security benefits)
  • Your gross wages are below $217.50 per week.

Bear in mind, however, that even if you prevail, you still have to deal with the debt. In essence, a wage attachment is a wakeup call to do something about your outstanding debt.

Want more information on how to fight back with your creditors and deal with debt? Then download my free book, The Biggest Secrets Your Creditors Don't Want You to Know. Become empowered and protect your rights!

How Can You Help?

If you live in southern New Jersey and want a lawyer to represent you against your creditors, call my office at 856-432-4113 or contact me through this site to schedule an appointment to come in to my Woodbury office to discuss your matter. I have represented creditors for many years and am familiar with the collection industry and how it ticks. Put my experience to work for you!

If your debt situation goes beyond one or two creditors, however, and you are wondering whether you need a solution to a bigger problem, then download my free book, Am I In Too Deep? A Guide to Knowing When You Need to File Bankruptcy in New Jersey to find out if bankruptcy might be the solution.

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