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01

Sep 2016

Why Filing Bankruptcy Stops Payroll Garnishment: Virginia Law

Posted by / in Virginia Bankruptcy, Weekly Posts /

Why Filing Bankruptcy Stops Payroll Garnishment: Virginia Law, Virginia Form

I’m surprised a couple times each month by Virginia employers who don’t know that bankruptcy stops payroll garnishment. Some employers think they need to keep on garnishing, until they get an order from a judge saying to stop. But if you read the Garnishee’s Answer Form, it tells you exactly what to do.  

(If you don’t have the form handy, please check the link so you can follow along. I’ve inserted the form down below, but it’s too small to read.)

Please Mail Checks or Responses

If you read the form, up at the top, point 4 says, “Please mail checks or responses….” That tells you right there, you can mail a “check” or a “response.” So you don’t have to mail a check. You can mail a response.

Below that, you have ten boxes you can select. The first one is “Enclosed is a check…” 

There are 9 Excuses for Not Mailing Checks

After “enclosed is a check,” there are nine other responses. Those nine are your excuses for not mailing a check. Those nine excuses are listed right on the form. They are called responses. Responses you can legally send in instead of checks.

After the “Enclosed is a check” response, look at the nine other boxes. The first one is pretty obvious: “the garnishee holds no money…” If the debtor does not work for you, or bank with you, you don’t have to send in any money. That’s clear.

The second one is slightly different: “The garnishee does not have sufficient information to reasonably identify…” If the garnishment is for John Smith, your company might have eight John Smith’s. If there’s no social security number and the address doesn’t match any of the eight, you’d select that box. (Or if your company only has one John Smith, but there’s no social security number and the address doesn’t match.) 

Then there are other boxes for: doesn’t work here anymore; the amount of the garnishment isn’t filled in; not making enough money to be garnished; already being garnished by someone else.

“The judgment debtor has filed a bankruptcy petition”

Bankruptcy stops payroll garnishment

“Judgment debtor filed bankruptcy” is one of the nine reasons to NOT send checks. Sorry this is so small, but you can see the form full size, here.

The eighth box is “the judgment debtor has filed a bankruptcy petition…” Like the other boxes, the debtor’s bankruptcy is a legal answer to the garnishment. Filing bankruptcy is a legal excuse for not sending in a check. It’s a response that’s right on the form that asks you to mail “checks or responses.” 

So if you get notice that your employee has filed bankruptcy, you don’t need to wonder what to do. Pick up the form. Select the box that says “The judgment debtor has filed a bankruptcy petition.” Mail that response. That’s it; you’ve done what the court asked you to do. Finished. You are supposed to send checks or responses. You’ve sent your response. 

You’ve checked the box you are supposed to check and done what you’re supposed to do.

Bankruptcy Stops Payroll Garnishment: Does The Form Seem Too Simple?

Even if you didn’t have the form, you should know (or your lawyer, anyway, should know) that bankruptcy stops payroll garnishment. Bankruptcy Judge Stephen S. Mitchell explained why that is, in 18 pages, in the case of Madge Lebrun. (I was Ms. Lebrun’s lawyer.) If you don’t believe the form, you—or your lawyer—can read, here how Judge Mitchell explained bankruptcy stops payroll garnishment. 

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12

Dec 2015

Tonya is homeowner just two years after bankruptcy

Posted by / in After Bankruptcy, Virginia Bankruptcy /

Two years after bankruptcy, Tonya is as home owner.

Two years after bankruptcy, Tonya is a home owner.

Tonya M of Stafford Va, filed bankruptcy with me in January 2013. In May 2015, she was approved for a mortgage and bought a house.

Tonya M, of Stafford VA, came to see me in late 2012.  Her marriage had broken up, and she was working in a clothing store.  

Tonya was desperate.  She had just sold her engagement ring to keep herself afloat.  Her biggest problem was a $30,000 loan from Navy Federal Credit Union. She was also cosigner on a $7,000 card with USAA.  So far, her ex was paying that, but she was afraid he’d stop, then then then they’d come after her.  

She had never been a homeowner and never expected to be; she just wanted Navy Fed to leave her alone; and not still be worried about her ex paying the cosigned USAA card.

I told her bankruptcy would do that and more.  In three years, I told her, you can be back to good credit. 

“In three years you can be back to good credit–good
enough credit to get a car loan at 6.9% or maybe
lower–good enough credit, if the income is there, to
qualify for a mortgage and buy a place.”

Turns out, it didn’t take Tonya even three years to by a house after bankruptcy.

We filed Tonya’s Chapter 7 bankruptcy case in January 2013, and it was discharged April 25, 2013. 

In May, 2015, just two years after bankruptcy, Tonya was approved for a mortgage and bought a house.

So many people put off talking to a bankruptcy lawyer.  They are afraid if they file bankruptcy, they can never get anything.  For most people, that’s exactly backwards.  Tonya M would never had been able to buy that house, unless she filed bankruptcy.  Filing bankruptcy was what she needed to do, to fix her credit score and get her off the ex’s USAA card.  

If you are wondering if you should file bankruptcy, make an appointment with an experienced bankruptcy lawyer.   Don’t put it off.  Start toward your better future today.

Tonya still asked for my help.

That big Navy Fed debt, the one that got her to come see me, was still sitting on her TransUnion report.  Since both Experian and Equifax had it right, she had been able to get her mortgage.  But her TU score was lower than the others, and she wanted that fixed.

We got to work right away.

As part of my exclusive Five Year After Bankruptcy Warranty, I’ll fight for you, if discharged debts pop back up on your credit report.  No charge to you.  If they don’t fix it right away, I sue the creditor and credit bureau–and I send them the bill.  We get a couple thousand dollars for our clients, and a couple thousand as legal fees, doing that each month.  

And, of course, we get those after-bankruptcy credit reports fixed.          

 

 

 

 

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16

Jul 2015

Alexandria Bankruptcy Courthouse at 200 S Washington Street

Posted by / in Virginia Bankruptcy /

Here’s the Alexandria VA Bankruptcy Hearing Room and Alexandria Bankruptcy Courthouse.

Most people who file bankruptcy never go to the courthouse.  Most people never see the actual bankruptcy judge.  Bankruptcy initial hearings (called “the meeting of creditors”)are at 115 S Union Street.

Bankruptcy hearings--the "Meeting of Creditors"--are here.  Birkenstock has gone out of business.

Bankruptcy hearings–the “Meeting of Creditors”–are here. Birkenstock has gone out of business.

Complicated cases end up here, at the Alexandria Bankruptcy Courthouse, in front  of the Bankruptcy Judge.  It’s 200 S Washington St.  A real courthouse.  

Alexandria Bankruptcy Courthouse

Alexandria Bankruptcy Courthouse. 200 S Washington St.  This classic front entrance now is blocked off. You need to come in through security on the side door, Prince Street.

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NORTHERN VIRGINIA BANKRUPTCY LAW OFFICES