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Christopher S. Mulvaney, Esq.

It is not possible to “reverse” a Writ of Garnishment.  Once served, the Writ requiring deduction of 25% of your net pay will run for 60 days and then expire, but it can be renewed an unlimited number of times as long as there is a balance on the Judgment.



I can assist you with your debt analysis which includes bankruptcy evaluation and analysis.  If you cannot tolerate the reduced income, then filing bankruptcy will not only stop the garnishment, but also require the creditor to return any funds garnished in the 60 days preceding filing.


If you can tolerate the garnishment and want to propose a settlement after the 60 days of deductions, we can discuss that as well.

In addition to a Writ of Garnishment of wages, creditor’s counsel can also serve a Writ of Attachment of bank accounts. There is no 25% limit, the full amount of the Judgment can be deducted from your bank account, but the creditor is required to return any funds garnished in the 60 days preceding filing.

SO, CONTACT ME RIGHT AWAY IF YOU ARE SERVED WITH A SUMMONS AND COMPLAINT, RECEIVE NOTICE OF A JUDGMENT, OR RECEIVE NOTICE OF A WRIT OF GARNISHMENT OR ATTACHMENT.

 

You can use the notice of appearance below to get email notice of activity in your case and give yourself additional time to evaluate options.

Notice of Appearance


Garnishments are governed by RCW 6.27.

Nolo has garnishment information.

WashingtonLawHelp.org also has garnishment information.


Stop garnishments by contacting MLO in Bellevue, Washington, immediately if you are served with a Summons & Complaint or a Writ of Garnishment, and seeking protection under the U.S. Bankruptcy Code. I am Christopher S. Mulvaney, an experienced bankruptcy attorney, and I will help you understand your options.

STOP BANK ACCOUNT SEIZURE

In addition to a Writ of Garnishment, Judgment creditors can also file a Writ of Attachment and seize any amount in your bank account up to the amount of the Judgment including the interest and attorney’s fees.  The 25% limitation does not apply to attachment.

Certain property is exempt from attachment under RCW 6.15.010.

STOP WAGE GARNISHMENT IMMEDIATELY

Most creditors cannot garnish wages without first obtaining a Judgment against you.  Federal student loan servicers, the IRS, state child support agencies, and lenders with whom you have checking or savings account are exceptions to this rule. 

Garnishment is a Court Order requiring your employer to deduct 25% of your net pay (50% for child support pursuant to RCW 6.27.150) from each paycheck for the next 60 days. If your employer fails to do so, then your employer can be sued for the money you owe. Garnishment can be renewed until the Judgment is paid in full, which will take a long time because of the 12% post-Judgment interest rate (RCW 19.52.020) and garnishment fees. You can be fired for repeated garnishments.

Most people cannot live with 25% of their net pay being taken. You are not required to live with it.  Bankruptcy protection immediately stops wage garnishment pursuant to the automatic stay (11 USC 362).

In order for a creditor to get a Judgment, the creditor must file a lawsuit and have the Court enter an order in the creditor’s favor. You are supposed to be personally served with a Summons and Complaint giving you notice that you are being sued. However, that does not always happen. If you fail to respond to a Summons and Complaint in writing within 20 days, the creditor will get a default Judgment against you, and garnishment will be the next step.


STOP FORECLOSURE

Stop Foreclosure Sales – Create Loan Modification Opportunity

Falling behind on mortgage payments is a common problem. If you have received a Notice of Default or a Notice of Foreclosure contact MLO immediately to talk to a lawyer about your rights, and plan the best strategy for you. For many homeowners in the Bellevue, Washington, area that involves negotiating a loan modification. You should remain flexible, so that you have a plan if the modification is not successful. Whatever ends up happening, it is important that you did everything you could to prevent any outcomes you didn’t want.

Chapter 7 bankruptcy can give you a few months to live in the house without paying the mortgage, so that you can save money to move. Second mortgages and Home Equity Lines of Credit are especially dangerous after foreclosure sales because the lender will likely sue you for the balance after the sale. Chapter 7 provides a discharge of that debt.

Keeping your house in a Chapter 13 bankruptcy is extremely difficult and unlikely. You are required to catch up the mortgage arrears over 5 years plus pay the regular payment plus the 10% Trustees fee on the whole amount.

If you are going to be forced into bankruptcy following a foreclosure sale when a mortgage creditor sues you, then it is preferable to file bankruptcy before the sale to give yourself more time to live in the house without paying.


Foreclosure is governed by RCW 61.24 – Deeds of Trust and RCW 61.12 – Judgments.


Foreclosure can be either Judicial or Non-Judicial.  Judicial foreclosures in which the Debtor is served with a Summons and Complaint are rare because their purpose is to obtain a Judgment for the deficiency balance (the difference between the auction price and what is owed) which usually results in the bankruptcy of the Debtor.  Typically, notices of default and foreclosure sale notices pursuant to a deed of trust are used.  No deficiency Judgments are allowed for first purchase money mortgages.  Deficiency Judgments are allowed for HELOC’s and refinances.


Facing Garnishment or Foreclosure? Contact MLO.

If you cannot afford to live with a garnishment, you should talk to an experienced lawyer about your rights as soon as possible.

 

BEWARE SETTLING DEBT TO AVOID GARNISHMENT, SEIZURE OR FORECLOSURE

If you settle a debt for less than the amount owed, be prepared to receive a 1099-C for imputed income, which is taxable unless you meet the insolvency exception. Consult a CPA. Solvent debtors can hurt themselves with non-dischargeable taxes. Insolvent debtors can hurt themselves due to the opportunity costs of paying creditors and then being forced into bankruptcy anyway.

Be very way of attempting to settle debt with a debt-to-income ratio of 50% or more. Your chance of success is negligible. Debt repayment programs are not run by lawyers. These companies have no fiduciary duties to you and can sell you on a program that has no chance of success because you will be sued and have wages garnished ending your ability to pay creditors.


Legal Services Offered


THIS WEBSITE INCLUDES GENERAL INFORMATION AND

THE OPINIONS OF CHRISTOPHER S. MULVANEY WHICH ARE INTENTED TO STIMULATE A BASIS FOR QUESTIONS RELATED TO YOUR PARTICULAR FACTUAL CIRCUMSTANCES BEFORE YOU ACT.  



THIS WEBSITE DOES NOT CONSTITUTE LEGAL ADVICE.



IF YOU WANT LEGAL ADVICE, PLEASE MAKE AN APPOINTMENT TO SPEAK WITH ME.


While my practice is centered on helping consumers get out of debt and protect themselves and their families in the event of death or incapacity, I am happy to offer additional legal services to my existing estate planning and bankruptcy clients.


Are you worried about mounting debt?


Or facing a Judgment, Garnishment or Foreclosure?


Have you been putting off getting an estate plan for too long?


I offer my clients legal counsel regarding foreclosure, buying and selling real estate, Transfer on Death Deeds, and real estate matters generally.  


MULVANEY LAW OFFICES, PLLC does not do litigation.


Christopher S. Mulvaney’s Mission:

To Always Be a Human Being First – and My Role Second. 

To First, Do No Harm, then to provide the best legal outcome, smoothest process, best value, and to make a positive difference in the life of every client.

Christopher S. Mulvaney’s Mantra:

May I be filled with loving kindness for all life.

May I be safe from dangers within and without.

May I be healthy in body, mind, socially, and spiritually.

May I be at ease and happy doing good in the world.


Every client is an estate planning client. 

Additional services related to debt, bankruptcy, and real estate are available to estate planning clients.


I offer initial ZOOM legal consultations to prospective estate planning and bankruptcy clients for two reasons:


(1) determining if the issues are within my practice areas (the “wheelhouse“), and


(2) determining whether a potential client is willing to let me lead them to the best likelihood of achieving a favorable outcome with the smoothest process of getting there. 



CONTACT FORM




DISCLAIMER:  The use of email or this form for communication with MULVANEY LAW OFFICES, PLLC does not establish an Attorney-Client Relationship. Time-sensitive information should not be sent through this Form or through email.  Confidential information can be uploaded into a shared encrypted folder after you have made initial contact with me.


For more information about my practice in Bellevue, Washington, please consult my Blog.



  • Seattle, Tacoma, Everett, Bellevue, Redmond, Renton, Issaquah, Sammamish, Maple Valley, Burien, SeaTac, and throughout King, Snohomish, and Pierce counties.


If you have read this far, you may be interested to know what I need to explain to potential clients very quickly which is the intersection in the Venn Diagram above of my practice areas and insurance coverage. As you can see the numbers of case types that are not in my practice areas is large, as is the number of case types that are neither in my practice area nor covered by legal insurance. The intersection is what I call the Wheelhouse. It contains two practice areas – estate planning and bankruptcy that pay all of the bills.

The small miscellaneous bit of my practice which I only do in conjunction with estate planning (bankruptcy is also done in conjunction with estate planning, so every client is an estate planning client. The challenge to me is to quickly explain to prospective clients that the long list of miscellaneous services on the left side of the diagram do not pay the bills – they are simply done to assist my estate planning clients with other matters that are not economical for lawyers to handle in isolation, so they would likely have difficulty finding counsel to assist them.

That is the difference between paying out of pocket by the hour and using flat fee legal insurance. If you are paying by the hour, you have more latitude regarding what the scope of service includes and what it does not. However, if the issue is too small you are not likely to find a lawyer to assist you even if you are willing to pay more than the market hourly rate because many smaller cases interfere with revenue production, increase stress, and increase risk.

That is an important part of why I do what I do the way I do it. There are many lawyers to serve you if you have means, in the manner you wish to be served. However, the majority of middle class and lower middle class people do not have access to legal representation and advice when they need it. In 1979, I heard Jimmy Carter give a speech in which he said that America is over lawyered and under represented. That is more true now than it was then.

I see my niche in the law as representing people in the most economical way possible for the most people, which is through legal insurance. Egalitarian access to legal services affordable by as many people as possible is a value for me. I have the privilege of earning a living in a manner that is consistent with my values. So, if you choose to become a client of MULVANEY LAW OFFICES, PLLC I thank you for allowing me to be who I am in my work, and to serve with my whole self – not divorced from consideration for the good of society in the pursuit of forever more profit.