Ask the Experts: Can creditors garnish my wages?

Do creditors have the right to garnish my wages?

Recently I had a credit card balance turned over as an unpaid debt. The last words I had with the creditor was that whoever would attempt to collect this would have the right to garnish my wages because I am working. Is this true? Where can I go to find out exactly what my rights are?  - Gerry 

Gerry, 

Each state sets their own laws as to what, and how, a creditor can collect on a delinquent account. Some states permit a creditor to garnish a debtor’s wages, others don't. 

Some states exempt just about all assets a debtor has from seizure by a creditor to satisfy the payment of a debt. Other states can force you to sell some of your assets to satisfy a judgment. 

For a list of state and county consumer protection offices, please visit the Federal Citizen Information Center

Ask the Experts 

Can money management services like yours work with the credit card companies and get the collection agencies off my back?

I have a question regarding repayment of credit card debts. I have two credit cards which have been turned over to collection agencies. I know that the collection agencies will not work with CCCS or MMI but can money management services like yours work with the credit card companies themselves and get the collection agencies off my back?  - Patricia 

Patricia, 

It is definitely worth your time to visit with a MMI counselor. MMI works with thousands of creditors, including collection agencies, to repay your debts. Once a plan is established and the creditor begins to see regular payments from you, collection calls and letters should stop! 

Call a counselor at 866.530.9869 or fill out an online counseling form, they’re standing by 24/7 to answer your questions!  

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Will I be able to use credit while on a Debt Management Plan? 

Will I be able to use my credit while on a Debt Management Plan?  - Anna 

Anna, 

In regards to your being able to include only certain credit cards on the program, our mission and purpose is to help people get out of debt. The only way that can be done is if no further charges are made on your accounts while you are on the program. 

However, as with any rule, exceptions are made for justifiable reasons. When arranging to start your program, discuss with your counselor your reason for wanting to keep some cards active. If your counselor feels your reason is justified, you will still be able to utilize these cards. 

Ask the Experts

Jessica Horton is a former copywriter and community manager at MMI.

  • The Consumer Federation of America (CFA) is an association of nonprofit consumer organizations that was established in 1968 to advance the consumer interest through research, advocacy, and education. Today, nearly 300 of these groups participate in the federation and govern it through their representatives on the organization's Board of Directors.
  • The National Council of Higher Education Resources (NCHER) is the nation’s oldest and largest higher education finance trade association. NCHER’s membership includes state, nonprofit, and for-profit higher education service organizations, including lenders, servicers, guaranty agencies, collection agencies, financial literacy providers, and schools, interested and involved in increasing college access and success. It assists its members in shaping policies governing federal and private student loan and state grant programs on behalf of students, parents, borrowers, and families.

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  • The Council on Accreditation (COA) is an international, independent, nonprofit, human service accrediting organization. Their mission is to partner with human service organizations worldwide to improve service delivery outcomes by developing, applying, and promoting accreditation standards.

  • The National Foundation for Credit Counseling® (NFCC®), founded in 1951, is the nation’s largest and longest-serving nonprofit financial counseling organization. The NFCC’s mission is to promote the national agenda for financially responsible behavior, and build capacity for its members to deliver the highest-quality financial education and counseling services.