Can a Judgment Creditor Garnish Wages in North Carolina?
Having a judgment entered against you can be a stressful situation, especially when the Sheriff’s deputy shows up with a Writ of Execution. People often wonder if their wages can be garnished here in North Carolina by a judgment creditor. As the law stands right now, the North Carolina legislature has not approved wage garnishment as a means of collection for judgment creditors. Wages can be garnished for certain other liabilities, such as certain tax obligations, as the most common example.
A more complicated scenario arises when a money judgment is obtained in a different state that does allow wage garnishment. Suppose someone here in Raleigh, Wake County, North Carolina, has a judgment entered against her in the Commonwealth of Virginia, which allows wage garnishment. If the resident of Raleigh works for an employer with a business office in Virginia, then it is possible that the judgment creditor can attempt to garnish wages through a court order entered in Virginia. A lot of banks and many employers are interstate entities, so they and your money can potentially come within the jurisdiction of courts in other states for wage garnishment purposes.
The automatic stay of 11 USC 362 imposed by filing a bankruptcy case typically stops wage garnishment. If you are facing a garnishment of your wages, give us a call to see whether a bankruptcy case may be able to help you discharge the debt or create a workable payment plan.