If the state is garnishing my wages, will bankruptcy stop the garnishment? 10 Answers as of November 06, 2013

I had a judgement against me and my ex-girlfriend for back pay from child care assistance she received for a couple years adding up 23k. I never received any kind of notice for court appearance or chance to answer because it was all under her name and she was the one that lied to social services about her living situation at that time. Do I have any recourse or will bankruptcy stop the garnishment?

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Law Offices of Daniel J Winter
Law Offices of Daniel J Winter | Daniel J Winter
Generally, garnishments for child support or other reimbursement to the state for support cannot be stopped by a bankruptcy. However, it really depends on all of the facts of your situation. You can try to dispute the charges by getting an attorney to fight them in the state court where they were charged. Or, you can discuss all of the facts with a bankruptcy attorney to clarify the situation. But, it would be very difficult to do this without an attorney.
Answer Applies to: Illinois
Replied: 11/6/2013
Law Offices of Peter De Bruyn
Law Offices of Peter De Bruyn | Peter De Bruyn
Bankruptcy will stop any garnishment, temporally. But after the court issues your discharge and closes the case, your garnishment will continue because a "child care assistance" judgment is non-dischargeable pursuant to 11 U.S.C. 523 of the Code. You can try and "work" something out with the state agency while you in BK, but good luck. You can claim that since you were not married, the presumption of paternity does not apply, but the state will order a paternity test. Basically you're going to have to pay.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 11/6/2013
Elkington Law
Elkington Law | Sally Elkington
If you file a Chapter 13, you can put that debt into the plan to be paid back. It does not appear to be a dischargeable debt from your description. But, it could be handled through a bankruptcy plan with payments that might be easier for you. Talk to a bankruptcy attorney, to verify whether the debt dischargeable or not and assuming it is not dischargeable, what your payments would be in a chapter 13.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 11/6/2013
The Law Office of Darren Aronow, PC
The Law Office of Darren Aronow, PC | Darren Aronow
Bankruptcy will stop the garnishment temporarily, but once you are finished with your bankruptcy they can garnish you again.
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 11/6/2013
Ryan Legal Services, Inc.
Ryan Legal Services, Inc. | Kevin Ryan
You should talk to an attorney about possibly filing a bankruptcy case under Ch 13. Ch 13 would enable you to stop any further penalties for the over-payment, and the co-debtor would be relieved from any collection on the account if you file Ch 13 (Ch 13 imposes a "co-debtor' stay against creditors of the Debtor and any co-debtor while the Plan/Case is being administered). If you file Ch 7, the Stay will only be in effect for as little as 90 days, and usually no more than a 6-8 months if the case stays open due to it being an asset case.
Answer Applies to: Ohio
Replied: 11/6/2013
    Law Offices of Robert P. Taylor
    Law Offices of Robert P. Taylor | Robert P. Taylor
    I'm not exactly sure what's going on here. However, unless the judgment is child or spousal support related, filing a bankruptcy should stop the garnishment. However, if the underlying debt turns out to be nonchargeable, the creditor can restart the wage garnishment after your bankruptcy is closed. You should definitely seek a free consultation with a qualified bankruptcy attorney. 962-1892
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 11/1/2013
    Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney
    Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney | Janet Lawson
    If this for anything labeled "child support" or could be considered "in the nature of child support" - no a bankruptcy will not stop it.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 11/1/2013
    A Fresh Start
    A Fresh Start | Dorothy G Bunce
    Filing bankruptcy can temporarily stop a wage garnishment for child support but any reprieve will only be temporary.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 11/1/2013
    Law Office of Stuart M. Nachbar, P.C.
    Law Office of Stuart M. Nachbar, P.C. | Stuart M. Nachbar
    Bankruptcy could stop it.
    Answer Applies to: New Jersey
    Replied: 11/1/2013
    Deborah F Bowinski, Attorney & Counselor at Law | Debby Bowinski
    You really should speak with an attorney with all your paperwork in hand. Something is not sounding quite right. If it is truly your ex- girlfriend's obligation then it does not make sense that your wages are being garnished. If the children are yours, then you are responsible for their support and that could explain things. If the children are not yours then it sounds as though something else may be going on.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 11/1/2013
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