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Bankruptcy Law/Wage garnishment after Chapter 7 filing


My husband & I filed for chapter 7 in July 2013. Everything was finalized with the court date & pre & post classes done. I was shocked to see my paycheck directly garnished this last Friday... Was this illegal? What are the steps to take to return my money asap? Thank you for your help! We have been getting the run around from my attorney, the bankruptcy certificate company, & the LA sheriff department! Desparately need that money for my family's groceries...

Was the creditor scheduled?  It sounds like a creditor was left off your paperwork and didn't know about the bk.  If this has happened before your discharge was entered (which is likely with those dates) this is a violation of the automatic stay that can get you atty fees and punitive damages in a proper case.

A phone call from your attorney should clear this up.  Give the employer your bankruptcy notice and have them stop any further garnishments with a response "employee filed bankruptcy";

if the creditor won't give the money back without a fight, your only option is to file an adversary complaint against them (no filing fee to the court) and get a judgment.  I've never seen a creditor refuse to return improperly garnished funds when our firm has demanded their return under your circumstances.  Even if they were not listed, if yours is a "no asset" case the debt is still discharged. If they're not listed and no discharge entered yet, file an amendment to add them in.

Your attorney should be all over this.


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Consumer bankruptcy questions invited. I've been filing Chapter 7, 11 and 13 cases since 1985 in Calif and Arizona. I do NOT do homework questions. Let me know what state you're located in when you write. My bankruptcy practice is limited to California and Arizona but inquiries from other states are welcome. Your local jurisdiction determines exemptions. Find more background information at our website, Individual Chapter 11 and small business chapter 11 questions invited. We can also advise on the creditor's side if for example you have a fraud case, money judgment etc against someone who has filed (or is threatening) bankruptcy. We have filed and defended numerous adversary complaints in bankruptcy court and opposed trustees' demands for turnover of assets from time to time.


My partners and I have filed over 5000 consumer and small business cases to date in California and Arizona.

I've been a member of the California bar since 1984 and Arizona since 2004; also a member of the National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys, Bankruptcy section of the Arizona State Bar, Tucson Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys, Arizona Consumer Bankruptcy Counsel and American Hellenic Educational and Progressive Association (AHEPA).

I've written a booklet on land trusts for real estate owners, players and dealers, and co-authored a special edition of "Stop Sitting on Your Assets". I was a writer of a monthly law review article relating to California real estate issues and pending and recently enacted legislation.

Attorney at law, experienced in trial procedures, adversary complaints filed and defended and numerous claims objection proceedings as well as filing cases for consumer and small business debtors.

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