Unfortunately, the answer is yes—but not without jumping through some hoops first, which gives you an opportunity to stop them. When you call me as soon as a debt collector contacts you, we may be able to prevent wage garnishment.

What Does a Debt Collector Have to Do to Garnish My Wages?

When you owe money for medical bills or are way overdue on credit cards, your debt may be passed on to a debt collection agency. The goal of a debt collector is to get you to pay upDebt Collection Wage Garnishment in California—sometimes by any means necessary, even if it means breaking the law. Debt collectors are not allowed to threaten or harass you, but many of them do. If a debt collector is harassing you, you can not only make them stop, you can make them pay. Sometimes the damages awarded for debt collection harassment can wipe out the debt you were being harassed over in the first place! However, not every debt collector breaks the law in this way, and if he decides to take legal action against you, it could result in wage garnishment.

In order to garnish your wages, a debt collector will have to sue you for the debt and win. Then, if the judge approves it, he can garnish your wages to pay back the debt.

What Can We Do to Stop Debt Collectors From Garnishing Your Wages?

If the debt collector has not broken the law in order to collect on the debt—and remember, threatening you by mail or over the phone is illegal!—you will not be able to sue him for damages. If he sues you to collect on the debt, however, we may be able to defend you with one of the following arguments:

  • The debt he is suing you for is not yours.
  • He does not have the proper documentation to prove the validity of the debt.
  • The statute of limitations on the debt has expired.

If these arguments are ineffective and a judge rules in the debt collector’s favor, I may still be able to work out a payment arrangement that does not involve wage garnishment.

You Do Have Debt Collection Options

The sooner you contact me about a debt collector, the more options we will have to fight back. Don’t let your situation escalate into a lawsuit. Call me today at 415.802.0137 to discuss your options!


Michael F. Cardoza, Esq.
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U.S. Marine & Consumer Financial Protection Attorney helping victims of ID theft and Credit Reporting errors.