There is an undeserved stigma attached to bankruptcy, but it should never be discounted because of that. The truth is that if you are seriously considering filing, you probably should have filed some time ago. While it is not the ultimate solution for everyone, it is a good solution for people with unmanageable debt, and if your wages are being garnished, it is likely that your debt is currently unmanageable.
Types of Bankruptcy
Before you decide to file, you should know that there are 2 types of bankruptcy available to private individuals. Chapter 7, the most obvious type, is a way of erasing most debt by liquidating the majority of your assets in return for discharge. It does not include student loans or debts to the IRS or other government agencies, but it is otherwise complete erasure. Chapter 13 is less well-known; it is a rearrangement of debt that consolidates each debt the debtor owes. The debtor is then required to pay a single monthly payment to a trustee, who then distributes that amongst the creditors. This differs from other types of debt consolidation by calculating the monthly payment using the amount of disposable income, or the money left over after the debtor has paid for the necessities like rent and groceries, instead of requiring the debtor to pay a predetermined amount per month regardless of his or her income.
The Automatic Stay
When a person files for bankruptcy, the automatic stay goes into effect. This is a very useful part of the process that stops all harassment and wage garnishment by creditors. In fact, once the automatic stay has begun, any type of harassment or garnishment is considered illegal by the courts. A stay allows the debtor to get his or her bearings and begin the necessary calculations, gathering of assets, and other preparations while going through the bankruptcy process.
If you want to stop wage garnishment and get on top of your debt at the same time, your best bet is to go through the necessary steps to file for bankruptcy. Not only will you get out from under the oppressive weight of debt, but you will be able to relax for a few moments without worrying about what your creditors might do to you.
Benefits and Drawbacks of Bankruptcy
While most of the effects of bankruptcy are undeniably positive, there are some definite drawbacks. Firstly, filing a 7 will require a liquidation of your assets. You are probably not going to lose your house or your vehicle, as there are certain exemptions to ensure quality of life, but superfluous assets will be lost. Secondly, a bankruptcy will leave evidence on your credit for years. This will not necessarily disqualify you from things that require credit checks, especially later on, but you should be ready to deal with that. Finally, you may still have to deal with student loans or debt to the IRS, which can still be frustrating. Ultimately, though, if you ask anyone knowledgeable how to stop wage garnishment in Seattle, they will tell you that bankruptcy is your best option for getting out from under the crushing weight of debt.