Wednesday, 17 April 2013

What to Do if Your Wages Are Being Garnished

If your wages are being garnished then no doubt you are feeling the pain. Having your wages garnished results in severe financial problems and even embarrassment at work. There are different types of wage garnishments that have financial impacts.

If your wages are being garnished as a result of family responsibility there is little that you can do outside of working with a lawyer to try to get the amount of the wage garnishment reduced or to work towards paying up your arrears and then moving to a voluntary monthly payment plan. There isn’t really any protection for individuals who have unpaid child support. Child support wage garnishments can consume up to 50% of your income.

If your wages are being garnished as a result of a judgement in small claims court you do have some options. You can make a motion to the local small claims court and ask a judge to reduce the amount of the wage garnishment or to lift it and allow for an agreed-upon voluntary monthly payment. While this can be effective, the courts do have the final say, and can say no. It also depends on your creditor. You can also look at working with a financial consultant to make a proposal to your creditor so that they agree to lift the judgement. This can be quite effective and even result in the interest that is accumulating on your debt being frozen. A garnishment imposed through the small claims court can consume up to 20% of your wages in most Canadian provinces.

If your wages are being garnished by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) this is by far the most dangerous type of garnishment. A CRA garnishment can consume up to 50% of employment income and up to 100% of secondary income. For example, if you are a contractor the CRA can demand that your client send 100% of your earnings. This is the most dangerous type of garnishment because a CRA imposed garnishment can literally make it impossible to pay for the necessities of life, such as food, transportation and shelter. Those who are self-employed may lose business or have clients simply walk away because dealing with the garnishment is just too much hassle.

Like judgements issued through small claims court, a good financial consultant can also help you to combat a CRA garnishment. There are programs and protections available that can stop a garnishment (even one issued by the CRA), freeze interest and even reduce the amount of the debt.

Do not continue suffering in silence. If a wage garnishment is holding you back, help is only a phone call away. For more information please call DebtCare Canada at 888-890-0888 or visit

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