When your debt level reaches a point where you can’t pay off your creditors or even make the required minimum payments every month, you may have to start making difficult decisions. You may pay the bills you need to cover to remain in your home while letting others go past-due.

Companies that don’t receive timely payments may start to engage in increasingly aggressive collection efforts against you. One of the ways that a creditor may try to recoup the money they loaned you could involve taking you to civil court and trying to secure a wage garnishment against you.

If they are successful, you may have to deal with increased financial hardship. Could bankruptcy be a solution to a pending wage garnishment attempt?

An automatic stay provides instant but temporary relief

As soon as you file your petition for bankruptcy with the courts, you have an automatic stay that prohibits additional collection activity. Provided that a creditor has not yet successfully secured a wage garnishment against you, the act of filing for bankruptcy should at least temporarily halt any pending legal proceedings.

It is possible for your creditors to petition the courts in response to your filing. They may ask to have the automatic stay lifted in their case to allow them to pursue collection efforts. However, if the debt is eligible for discharge, you may be able to proceed through the bankruptcy and discharge the debt in order to avoid future collection activity.

Preventing a garnishment when you already struggle to make ends meet is critical, as the drop in income that may result from a garnishment could push you even further into debt. An experienced attorney can provide you with valuable guidance.