New York wage garnishments and debt

If you fail to make payments for debt obligations in New York you may eventually have your wages garnished, but it will not happen right away. Recently on our forum a user asked, “If I am late paying my bills can the creditor initiate a New York wage garnishment?”

Failing to make payments on debts can eventually result in a wage garnishment in New York, but creditors would much rather you simply repay them. Before creditors initiate a New York wage garnishment they will call you and see if a repayment schedule can be negotiated. If their attempts at repayment fail, they may sell your debt to a collection agency who will hassle you for several months for repayment.

Finally, if all efforts for repayment are unsuccessful they might hire a lawyer and initiate a New York wage garnishment lawsuit.

What types of debts can result in a New York wage garnishment?


State laws dictate what outstanding debts can be collected with a wage garnishment. In fact, some states, such as Texas, do not let debtors use wage garnishments to collect credit card debts. Other states, like New York, however, allow garnishments for credit card debts, car repossession deficiencies, and medical debts.

If a creditor files a lawsuit against you and they win their case, the court will issue a judgment for the New York garnishment. The wage garnishment, however, cannot be initiated without a judgment.

Where does the creditor sue for a New York wage garnishment?


New York wage garnishment claims which are under $25,000 are filed in the lower court. In Nassau and Suffolk counties, the lower court is called the District Court. In the five boroughs of New York City, this is the New York City Civil Court.

If a creditor has filed a case against you, you will be issued a Summons. The Summons will detail the creditor’s name and the amount owed. You must answer the Summons. If you do not believe you owe the debt you can contest the debtor’s claim. If you do owe the debt, however, it is likely the creditor will eventually be granted a New York wage garnishment against you. Assuming the court issues a judgment, it can take several months before the wage garnishment commences and your wages are actually garnished.

How will my wages be garnished?


If the court grants the New York garnishment against you, you will receive notice from the state’s enforcement officer. You will have 20 days to repay the debts before the notice will be forwarded to your employer. If you do not respond a second set of papers is sent to the employer, and the New York wage garnishment is initiated.

What if I file bankruptcy after a New York Garnishment is initiated?


If you file bankruptcy at any point in the process all lawsuits and garnishments will be immediately stopped through an automatic stay. Some garnishments, however, such as those for child support, spousal support, or certain tax debts will not be terminated by filing bankruptcy.


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Beth L. is a content writer for Better Bankruptcy. Good content and information is one of many methods we utilize to bring you the answers you need.