As long as I am making a payments ona past due debt, can my wages be garnished?

UPDATED: Aug 2, 2011

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As long as I am making a payments ona past due debt, can my wages be garnished?

I have a debt for a doctor’s bill that they expect $35 every paycheck. I am unable to pay the full $35 every time. I have been informed that as long as I am at least making a payment, they cannot garnish my wages. Is this true?

Asked on August 2, 2011 Kansas


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Unfortunately, you have been misinformed. A debtor has NO right to determine how much or when he or she will pay a creditor. Once you have defaulted on a debt--not paid according to the terms under which it was incurred, or according to any agreement made with the creditor--the creditor has the right to sue you for the money. If they sue and win--which is very likely, if it's a valid debt--they can then use various means to collect if you don't pay, such as garnishing your wages. The fact that you are volunatarily paying something has no effect on their right to sue and potentially garnish, unless they actually agree to the payment schedule you  propose.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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