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Wages about to be garnished....which should I do first?

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Quick break down of my situation. I live in Chicago and Im currently a student (RN major). I work as a security Guard. I make no more than 1300 per month (paid bi weekly). I rent and after I pay utility bills, rent etc Im left with around $270 per month to by personal items, bus cards, etc.

My total debt is no more than 8.5k. Majority being credit card bills. The biggest portion of that debt is tied up with one credit card that I had. Via the wage deduction notice: Balance due 5109.53 Judgement in the Amount of 3313.73.

Ive al ready been to court for this debt around two years ago. Since then its been collecting interest. Im willing to pay off the debt. AT this point im just lookin to prevent wage garnishments.

Is my total debt too low to consider bankruptcy? I mean why would i risk having bankruptcy on my credit report for 10 years for a debt that really isnt outrageous...right?? Should I consider debt consolidation? Im willing to pay 100-125 (minimum) per month if need be.

Right now Im just looking for help as to what is the quickest way to prevent garnishments.

Thank You,

Sheldon - Look into garnishment exemption levels in your state.

If your earnings meet the exemption, were a garnishment sent to your employer, you would have an opportunity to file and show your exempt. This would prevent wages being attached.

Once you finish school and land a better paying job look at your options for resolving the debt.

Chapter 7 bankruptcy is a once every 8 year option and follows you around in a worse way than a judgment. If you are garnish-able, how much? Probably not the full 25%. If you do end up garnished (at whatever amount) and that less of take home pay causes you to not be able to make it month to month, you can file the basic BK docs yourself, which would stop the garnishment.

Your bank account can be located and funds there are at risk of being levied. Living on cash basis does not sound like it will be overly complicated for you.

Sub: #11 posted on Fri, 08/31/2012 - 08:13

MichaelBovee MichaelBovee
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(Posts: 125 | Credits: )

Hello Michael....

Based off how much I make, my total debt (which isnt much), and what follows bankruptcies (fees, credit report "strikes", etc )....I think I'll avoid that route.

Based off what im reading .....even though all those in debt get screwed over....Illinois actually has laws that work more in the favor of the person in debt. Depending on what type of debt it is, the total debt, etc etc.

This is what I got from googling stufff...

Your employer cannot deduct all of your wages. A certain amount of your wages is exempt, or protected by law. You are allowed to keep take-home pay (your pay after taxes are deducted) of at least:

  • $371.25 weekly
  • $742.50 bi-weekly (every other week)
  • $804.37 semi-monthly (twice a month)
  • $1608.75 monthly.

If your take-home pay is less than the exempt amount, your wages cannot be garnished. If your take home pay is greater than these exempt amounts then your wages can be deducted by the lesser of:

So if im reading this correctly my wages cant be garnished in illinois? Correct? I bring home around $638 every two weeks after taxes. And I make no more than $1280 monthly after taxes.

If I cant be garnished...(please correct me if im wrong) then do I still need file exemption papaers with the court? Or do I just let it be. Because if they garnish my wages illegally...then I can sue them ..correct?

Thxs for all you alls help!

Sub: #12 posted on Fri, 08/31/2012 - 13:12


BTW.....the total amount due on the notice is different than the total amount thats actually due.

Per the notice: 5109.53
Per Midland Funding: 5145.25

Regardless...I was planning on settling with them in about 5 months. My goal is to just keep the little cash that I have after paying bills in my pocket until then,

Sub: #13 posted on Fri, 08/31/2012 - 13:16


Based on the information you provided and your research results, yes, you appear to meet the garnishment exemption guidelines.

As far as writs of garnishment:

You would typically have to notice the court and may be required to file paperwork and show up for a hearing. No one knows if you have additional income sources beside the job. Your employer would not know that and is not in the position to raise your exemption qualifications for you. You have to. You have to formalize all of it with the court.

I would encourage you to seek feedback from an IL attorney on any of this. You may qualify for low income legal aid legal assistance based on your income.

Sounds like you will knock this down shortly and be able to move on with your life. Good.

Sub: #14 posted on Fri, 08/31/2012 - 13:51

MichaelBovee MichaelBovee
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(Posts: 125 | Credits: )

Is that $638 your net pay? Are there other deductions (401K, health insurance, dental, life, AD&D, etc.) or is that just gross pay minus taxes?

Sub: #15 posted on Tue, 09/04/2012 - 09:21

OhioGal1 OhioGal1
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(Posts: 5253 | Credits: )

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