If you’ve been served one of these (Garnishment Summons), it means you’ve probably come to the end of the collections cycle where you need to do something about it. There is a Judgment against you, so rule #1 is to keep your money out of the bank. The next thing is to see if your employer’s name is on it. If it’s not on there, the creditor probably doesn’t know where you work, so you may be safe for the time being. If you call them to work out a payment arrangement, it’s probably not wise to tell them where you work if they don’t know, although they can serve a demand for disclosure upon you, where you have to disclose that information.

If your employer’s name is on it, you need to act, unless of course you don’t mind getting 25% of your wages garnished until the judgment is paid off. If you are or have recently been on any public assistance, you may be exempt from garnishment and can fill out the form and follow the instructions to claim an exemption. If you haven’t been on assistance, there’s probably no need to respond to this document.

It very well may be time to consult with a bankruptcy attorney. A bankruptcy filing can stop these collection efforts and make the judgment go away. Even if you can’t or shouldn’t or prefer not to file bankruptcy, an attorney can discuss your best options. Unfortunately, you don’t have much leverage to negotiate anything, and leverage is key in negotiating. But we have helped people through this many times before, with or without filing bankruptcy.