Bankruptcy, Chapter 13

Will Bankruptcy Stop Child Support Garnishment?

Are your wages currently being garnished because you are behind in your child support?  Have you been served with paperwork to go to court to explain why you are behind in your child support?  Did you know that a South Carolina Family Court Judge can put you in jail for a very long time just because you are behind on your child support?  A Judge may put you in jail even if you believe that you cannot afford to pay what you owe.  Filing bankruptcy may be able to help.

Filing bankruptcy will not relieve you of your responsibility to pay child support.  Most of my clients who owe child support are more than willing to pay it for the benefit of their children but their circumstances caused them to fall behind.  A Chapter 13 bankruptcy will help solve the problem.  The Bankruptcy will allow you up to 5 years to make monthly payments to catch up the amount that you are behind.  Unless a Family Court Judge orders otherwise, you must continue (or in some cases resume) making your regular monthly child support payment.  Bankruptcy law also requires that you remain current with your child support payments while your bankruptcy case is pending.

Once the bankruptcy case is filed you do not need to worry about a Family Court Judge throwing you in jail for the back child support that is owed when the case is filed, nor do you need to worry about back child support being deducted from your paycheck.  However, I do highly recommend that where possible you request that both your current child support payment and your bankruptcy payment be deducted from your pay.

If you feel as though your child support payment is excessive or if your income level has decreased since your child support was set please let me know as it may be wise to file an action to lower your payment in addition to the bankruptcy filing.

-written by Columbia Bankruptcy Attorney David Melnyk

Bankruptcy, Chapter 13

Will Filing Bankruptcy Stop IRS Wage Garnishment?

Written by Columbia Bankrutpcy Attorney David W. Melnyk

Is the IRS garnishing your wages?  You work very hard for every dime of your paycheck.  To see a large percentage of it taken from you by way of IRS wage garnishment is a big blow.  If you are like most people you live either pay check to pay check or something close to that.

After proper notice the IRS can seize over 50% of your paycheck subject to a few limited exemptions.  The IRS wage garnishment will last until the IRS tells your employer to stop it.  Under the law your employer does not have a choice.  If your employer receives notice of the garnishment it must comply or it will have big IRS problems of its own.

What are your options?  You can pay your tax balance in full.  However, if  this was possible you probably would have done so long before the wage garnishment became an issue.  You may have success communicating directly with the IRS to work out a payment plan to pay your back taxes.    Depending upon the total amount of the IRS debt, and the years for which you owe, the IRS may offer a reasonable payment plan.  Acceptance of the repayment plan may stop the garnishment.

A more powerful option available to you is to file a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy.  Once the case has been filed your employer must stop taking your hard earned money and sending it directly to the IRS.  We will compute a monthly payment that you will send in as a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy payment.  This payment will include the amount necessary to satisfy the IRS.  We may be able to reduce  the total amount that you are required to pay to the IRS.  The amount that you pay back will be without any additional penalties or interest in most cases.  While you are in the bankruptcy, the IRS will not garnish your wages.

Please note that filing a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy does not totally relieve you from your tax obligation.  However, it will provide immediate relief from the wage garnishment and will prohibit the IRS from harassing you about your tax obligation.