Wage garnishment without knowing?

Recenlty, I noticed a deduction from my paycheck. I called the payroll department from my company and they told me that it was a garnishment due to student loans. Given that I am still a student, I questioned the type of debt, so I asked for a phone number where I could contact the collection agency. Well, it turns out that this was a credit card debt (why would my employer think it's a student loan, I have no clue).

I contacted the collection agency and I asked why I never got any kind of letters or phone calls. They told me that they sent numerous amounts of letters to an address that I haven't been at for almost 3 years, which is funny, because they obviously got a hold of my employer and can see that I'm working 600 miles away from that old address.

I was reading further into wage garnishing, and read that this happens once a court order takes place. Is this true? If so, how can someone possibly get away with garnishing my wages without having any kind of contact with me. When I spoke on the phone with the collector, I was close to settling the debt by giving my bank account, but I decided to ask them to provide me with all the paper work they sent to my old address. It's been over a week and all they have sent me is a bill.

Since they're already getting a hold of my check, am I hopeless? Will I ever see the paper work that they sent me at my old address? I also asked how old this debt was, and it will be 3 years in January, I need all this paper work to make sure that everything is correct. What can I do at this point?

1 Answer

  • 8 years ago

    For the collection agency to garnish your wages, they must have a judgment. It sounds like they sent all notices, including the summons to that old address. You don't get advance notice of a wage garnishment, although your employer should have notified you.

    You could hire an attorney and have the judgment set aside based on improper service of the summons and stop the current garnishment. If this is legitimately your debt, the creditor will probably serve you with a summons in that courtroom and then get a new judgment.

    Before you agree to any settlement with the collection agency, you might want to check with a NACA attorney: http://www.naca.net/. There might be problems stopping the current garnishment. You may end up having to wait and then hope to get back the overpayment.

    In any case, absolutely do not pay the collection agency a penny without a written settlement agreement. Make sure that agreement includes them stopping the garnishment and submitting judgment satisfaction paperwork to the court. Do NOT give the collector direct access to your bank account. Pay 'em with a money order or cashier's check.

    Oh, don't hold your breath waiting for any of that old paperwork from the collection agency. Contact the court and get a copy of the judgment.

    Source(s): BD
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