Q: If you already have a financial judgment against you, can a consumer credit service stop wage garnishment?
A: You will see a lot of ads from companies claiming if you give them money–sometimes thousands of dollars–they can help you get rid of a financial judgment. I would steer clear of such claims. If the judgment is legitimate, meaning you owe the money, you need to be talking to the creditor.
But, can I be honest?
The reality is the judgment means you couldn’t work out how to pay
the past due debt with monthly payments. Maybe you were unemployed and
couldn’t pay the debt. Maybe you had other financial issues that left
this debt unpaid. Or, maybe you ignored the creditor calls, so they took
you to court. The fact is it’s unlikely the creditor or collection
company will be willing to stop the wage garnishment and accept an
agreement from you to make monthly payments. And why would they? They
have a guarantee, as long as you keep your current job, that they are
going to get their money.
If the judgment is fairly new, you could see if you can get it
removed. Check the law in your state. Perhaps the creditor got the
judgment based on debt that was past the statute of limitations. Could
they prove it was truly your debt by showing original documentation?
If this is a fairly large amount of money, you may want to hire an
attorney, who may tell you that, ultimately, you don’t have a case.
However, your best option is to pay off the judgment if you can. If
you can’t, see if the creditor would accept a lump sum cash offer for
less than you owe. Right now, the creditor has to wait for the money to
come in from your wages. That could take years. So there’s a chance a
lump sum offer may be accepted.