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Christopher S. Mulvaney

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.



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.

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

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Mulvaney Law Offices, PLLC is located in Bellevue, Washington, representing estate planning & probate, chapter 7 and chapter 13 bankruptcy, and real estate transactions clients in:

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