There is no question that having a lot of debt piling up can cause a lot of stress in your life. The stress only gets worse as your balances increase and you fall behind on your payments. Chances are it’s not even your fault that you’re in this mess, but you still have to deal with it. You may be asking yourself can a credit card garnish my wages. That’s a fair question, and the answer is sort of.
To be more clear, a credit card company does not have the power to directly garnish wages. It doesn’t matter if you owe a few hundred dollars, or tens of thousands, the card company themselves cannot take money directly from your paycheck. However, they can sue you in court and have a judge order that your wages be garnished.
Before you get to upset by this, you should know that this is usually only done as a last resort. In other words, your credit card account has to be in rough shape before it will even be considered as an option by the card company. Even that may not be enough. What is most likely to trigger being sued? Having a large, unpaid balance and not communicating with the card company to let them know what’s going on.
Believe it or not, credit card companies do not sue people all that often; not directly, anyway. If they are having too hard of a time collecting from you, they will send your account to a collection agency. These are the ones that are far more likely to sue you. Therefore, it is in your best interest to prevent that from happening. The best way to do this is by contacting your credit card company right away, and explain your situation to them.
Most credit card companies offer programs for people who are in a tough spot. They can give you a break on interest or forgive late fees, as well as other things that will make it easier for you to pay. These programs typically last no longer than a year, but you can usually re-enroll when the year is up. While these programs are an excellent option, you have to make the first move to let the credit companies know what’s going on.
If things come to the point where you are still wondering “can a credit card garnish my wages?”, then you may be headed for court. Remember, this will give you a chance to explain your current financial situation to a neutral third party: the judge. Be sure to have proof of your income, expenses and all of your debt. The judge will try to work out the fairest deal possible for all parties involved.
The judgment could help you in the long run by reducing the total amount you have to pay back. However, if the judge thinks you are making enough money, your wages could be garnished. But this is only done as an extreme last resort. So, any good faith on your part will be a mark in your favor.