Atlanta & Fulton County Levy & Wage Garnishment Defense Attorney
Having your bank accounts levied or your wages garnished will leave you feeling violated and helpless. Levies and wage garnishments are two of the methods that creditors, utilize to recover the money owed to them. One of the most feared organizations that may levy your bank account or garnish your wages is the United States Internal Revenue Service (IRS). The IRS is ruthless in its pursuit of taxes owed. However, the IRS is not the only creditor who may levy your bank account or garnish your wages. Many creditors can pursue a bank levy and wage garnishment against you for unpaid debts, such as credit card debts or delinquent student loans. There are several ways to fight bank levies and wage garnishments, but you’ll need an expert tax defense lawyer to do so.
The attorneys at The Wooten Firm, LLC have successfully defended & litigated numerous levy and wage garnishment cases in Atlanta and Fulton County, particularly those involving the IRS – arguably the most difficult cases to win. Our success as one of the preeminent tax dispute and financial services law firms is attributable to our unique focus on tax and financial services. Rather than take every case that comes in the door and claim to be experts in everything, we focus specifically on tax and financial services. Our collective experience includes working as a tax lawyer for one of the largest accountancy firms in the world, certification as a public accountant, certification as a mediator, and more than four decades of collective experience in the courtroom. As a result, we are best situated to protect you from levies and wage garnishments. If you have received a notice of bank levy or wage garnishment, please contact our offices today for a free consultation.
What is a Bank Levy?
A bank levy is the right of a creditor to claim the money in your bank account if they have received a judgment in court stating that they are entitled to do so. In most cases, the creditor will file a civil lawsuit against you in court that shows the delinquent debt and you will have a chance to respond to the complaint. If the complaint is valid and you do not challenge the complaint, the court will likely issue a writ of execution and the creditor will then go to the local sheriff to have the sheriff present the writ of execution to the bank. Under Georgia law, the bank must give the creditor the amount that the writ of execution is for. The writ of execution is only good for the amount granted by the court and may only be used once. If the amount in your bank account is insufficient to cover the amount granted in the writ of execution, then the creditor will need to get another writ to attempt to further levy your bank account.
Unlike normal creditors, the IRS operates slightly differently in executing a bank levy. Generally, the IRS will send you a notice that you are being levied and that you have 30 days to respond. After the 30-day period has passed, the IRS will switch into collection mode. While creditors require a court judgement to levy your bank account, the IRS normally does not.
What is a Wage Garnishment?
Wage garnishments work similarly to levies, but instead of going to your bank to seize your assets, the creditor goes to your employer and presents the judgment against you. The employer is then obligated to garnish your wages by withholding a certain amount of your pay until the creditor’s judgement against you is satisfied. Under Georgia law, the amount garnished cannot exceed the lesser of 25 percent of your disposable income or the amount that your income exceeds 30 times the federal minimum wage, and your employer may not fire you based on the wage garnishment. The process for a creditor to obtain a judgment allowing wage garnishment is similar to that of a bank levy – the creditor will file the civil lawsuit against you; you will be served notice of the complaint and given a chance to respond.
Defending You from a Bank Levy or Wage Garnishment
There are several methods by which we can defend you from a bank levy or wage garnishment. One of the most common methods of fighting a debilitating wage garnishment is filing bankruptcy, either through chapter 13 or chapter 7 depending on your specific circumstances. Additionally, the statute of limitations may prohibit certain debts from being collected if they are too old. Furthermore, Title III of the Consumer Credit Protection Act protects you from debt collectors by governing the interactions and methods that creditors may utilize to collect debt.
Due to the extreme complexity of law surrounding bank levies and wage garnishments, as well as the intricate strategies to defeat or minimize the impact that the levies or garnishments may have, you need the representation of an expert attorney who specializes in defending individuals from levies and garnishments.
Serving Clients Throughout Atlanta and Fulton County
The Wooten Firm, LLC has an established reputation for defending individuals from bank levies and wage garnishments. Through our specialization is cemented in years of practice, we are able to protect you at any stage of the levy or garnishment process, all the way through appeals. We know how to handle the IRS if they’ve sent you notice of an impending levy; we know how to defend you from an overly burdensome wage garnishment; and we know how to structure bankruptcies to protect you and your assets if a judgement against you is too burdensome. If you are subject to a bank levy or wage garnishment, or have received notice of a lawsuit filed against you pertaining to delinquent debts, please contact us today for a free consultation.