Debt Settlement Attorney

Galler Law Firm has 30+ years of experience helping people just like you get a fresh start. When it comes to your future, experience matters.

GET A FREE CONSULTATION.

Are you being harassed by creditors about outstanding debts? Our experienced debt settlement attorneys will:

  • Look over your current financial situation.
  • Determine if debt settlement is your best option.
  • Walk you through the debt settlement process.

If debt settlement is the right decision for you, we’ll negotiate with your creditors to get them to reduce the amount you owe. If you’re drowning in debt with no end in sight, get assistance from Galler Law in Georgia. Call today for a free consultation.

Establish Financial Freedom

The debt settlement professionals at Galler Law understand how difficult it can be to get out of crushing debt. That’s why we work hard to help you get back on track to financial success. When you need help settling your debts, turn to Galler Law serving Roswell and Atlanta, GA.

Today it’s quite common for families – and individuals – to carry $20,000, $30,000, even $50,000 or more of credit card or other unsecured debt. Most of us are optimistic by nature, and since it’s normal to experience financial ups and downs in life, many people just ignore the problem and hope things get better down the road.

Unlike debt consolidation or credit counseling where you pay back the full balance on your debts, debt negotiation requires that you pay back only a portion of the balance.

This can make a huge difference in how quickly you pay off your balance.

When you’re drowning in credit card debt or other unsecured debts, and you want to take a more proactive stance to getting debt free, there are basically five debt relief methods to choose from.

Here is a brief description of each of those five debt relief methods.

1. Continue Making Minimum Monthly Payments

As long as you are able to make minimum monthly payments you may feel you’re doing the right thing by continuing on that same path. But this just maybe your worst strategy.

2. Credit Counseling or Debt Management

Credit counseling is a debt management program in which you make a single monthly payment to a credit counseling agency. In turn, that agency distributes the money to your creditors on your behalf, ideally at lower interest rates so you can pay off the debt faster. You still end up paying back 100% of your debt plus interest. These programs are designed to take 3 to 5 years and have very low completion rates.

3. Debt Settlement or Debt Negotiation

Debt settlement differs from the first two options in that the actual principal balance you owe is negotiated downward. Because you end up owing less, debt settlement is generally a faster and less expensive debt relief option than either debt counseling or debt consolidation.

4. Declare Bankruptcy

For the individual who cannot meet his or her debt obligations, bankruptcy may be inevitable. A formal declaration of bankruptcy stops the creditor collection process, and the debtor no longer owes some or all of the unsecured debt.

DEFAULT AND REPAYMENT

The collection of federal student loans happens differently than other types of loans. If your loan collection is transferred to the Department of Education, they can perform a number of actions to make you repay the money. The department can:

  • Intercept tax refunds
    Offset social security income
    Garnish your wages

WHAT IF YOU DON’T REPAY YOUR LOANS?

We’ll perform a student loan analysis to determine the best way to repay your student loan debt. Agencies can continue to demand repayment from you for the rest of your life, and student loan debt is rarely remedied by declaring bankruptcy. Hire us today to use our student loan expertise to your advantage.

The Atlanta, Georgia student loan attorney at Galler Law, LLC can watch out for your best interests to make sure your rights aren’t trampled over during the repayment process. We bring extensive student loan law knowledge to every case. We can help you even if your loans are in default.

WAGE GARNISHMENT

Wage garnishment in the city of Georgia can be up to 25% of your disposable earnings or on your earnings less than 30 times the minimum federal earning at 7.25$ per hour or 217.50 $ per week, whichever the lower. Disposable earning is the wage left after mandatory deductions like federal taxes, state taxes, state unemployment taxes, and Social Security taxes.

Wage Garnishments in Georgia Don’t Require the Court’s Approval

For student loan default, the rate is 15% of your disposable income. The US Department of education or anyone acting as its authorized collector will collect the amount. Internal Revenue Service (IRS) wage garnishment formulas are based on your standard deduction and the number of dependents you have.

No judicial order is needed, but the concerned department must inform you of the impending garnishment in advance.

The state of Georgia places a high premium on child support, which is garnishable without court law. Child support or Alimony garnish percentage can be as high as 50-60%of your disposable wages in Georgia.

But, is my total paycheck garnishable? If not, what does exempt from garnishment mean?

The following pay items are exempt from wage garnishment:

  • Social security income, and money paid in lump sum or installments for disability or retirement benefit. However, these also come in the garnish net if you have debt on federal or state taxes, child support premiums or federal student loans.
  • Person having Social Security Incentive (the logic being that the respective income is so low it would leave nothing on the hand of the debtor after garnishment).
  • State welfare benefits like Medicaid, Food Stamps, Housing and Urban Development (HUD) programs are exempt from garnishment.
  • Temporary Assistance for Needy Families.
  • Your student loan is exempted but not when it shows up as debt.
  • If you owe child support that’s mandatorily payable but if you are the receiver, it’s exempt.
  • Many Veteran and Civil services Retirement benefits are also exempt from garnish tactics.

How to Stop Wage Garnishment

Attorneys can often work a deal with your lender for a practical lump sum payment that will remove the debt officially. If you have extra money lying around, it’s worth contacting an attorney to see if this is an option. 

There may also be situations where the debt or wage garnishment was not accurately implemented, or there may be law that was glanced over or disregarded during the prosecution of your debt. If you think the wage garnishment or debt may be in error, contact us immediately!

Don’t try to skip out on repayment, or hiding while the process server attempts to serve you papers regarding your case. The underlying debt and garnishment will go nowhere, and there could be legal record of you trying to skip out. The best thing to do is be upfront about your income and ability to repay, and in many cases a qualified attorney can help with a solution between you and your lender.

Will bankruptcy stop wage garnishment immediately?

Yes, it will stop the creditor harassment. This is also the only easy way out to stop wage garnishment once it has started. However, bankruptcy will no protect your assets, and if you fall into default in the future, bankruptcy won’t be an option until the mandatory waiting period lapses.

Should You Hire a Wage Garnishment Attorney?

Can you handle giving up half of your income each month? Would this affect your work? Would it affect your stress level and your health? There’s a lot more at stake than just money. A qualified attorney does more than just represent you in court. They help you get a fresh start. 

  • Once the papers are filed by the lender and a case filed under the relevant sections, you get a summons delivered via your employer. You will have a definite time frame to reply or counter the lawsuit. This is the best time to put your defense forward. Hire a good attorney and you’ll save money over the long term.
  • If you are sure of your default, try for a settlement out-of-court. Take your lawyers help to negotiate the debt into a lump sum upfront payment. Take care to cover all components of debt like the principal, interest, sundry charges, and lawsuit charges in the lump sum payment so that there is no further harassment. You’ll need an attorney to properly set this up.
  • If you want to prove that the debt did not belong to you at all, file the traverse through a wage garnishment attorney.
  • You may try to wriggle out of the situation stating the hardships you are currently facing, but to prove that in court you will an attorney who is knowledgable about how to represent yourself in court.
  • When faced with non-judicial arrears like tax notice from IRS, consult a tax garnishment lawyer like Galler Law to lessen the impact.

Answers to Frequently Asked Questions

How do I know if I have a wage garnishment?

Wage garnishment in Georgia works under the Georgia garnishment law. First, the lender will file a case in the local court. The local sheriff will serve the papers to you once the court admits the case. If you think of contesting the case, hire a wage garnishment lawyer or us to defend your case. If left alone, the lender will be awarded  a default garnishment order. This order will state the items in your paycheck to be exempted.

Once the employer gets this order, he needs to act upon it. He may argue against the case only if you do not work under him anymore. He will get a grace period of 45 days for making the system compliant to the order. Within this 45 days time, contact a wage garnishment attorney, or tax debt lawyer either to find a way out or to minimize the garnished amount.

When can a creditor garnish your wages in Atlanta? And how much are they entitled to take?

When the creditor has obtained the court order, he can start garnishing wages 45 days after the order is signed. In case of a legal money judgement, currently maximum garnish amount can be either 25% of your disposable income or disposable income less than 30 times fed minimum wages of 7.25$ per hour/217.50$ per week, whichever is less.

In the case of child support, it can be up to 60% of disposable income with no dependents. With dependents, it can be 50%. For fed different loan default, wage habitant can be maximum 15% of disposable income per month.

What does exempt from garnishment mean?

Under the law of Georgia, certain incomes are exempt from the garnishment. A list of these items is presented at the top of this page. 

How can I dispute garnishment of wages?

Of course, you can, but obviously, you cannot do it on your own. Consult a wage garnishment defense lawyer for this.

Can the employer fire me due to wage garnishment?

According to the federal law, if there is only one garnish case against you, the employer cannot fire you. However, you lose that protection if another lender obtains garnishing court order against you.