Can a Debt Collector Garnish My Bank Account or Wages?
If you reside in Florida your bank account and wages could be garnished by debt collectors. The debt collectors could file a lawsuit against you and get a judgement in the amount of your debt and then attempt to collect that debt in a number of different ways including Bank Account Garnishment and Wage Garnishment. They can attempt to freeze your bank accounts and attempt to have future wages deducted from your paycheck as payment.
Without a court order, a debt collector cannot take your money. The court will have to rule that the debt collector is entitled to the money in your bank accounts and future wages.
Usually you will not get an advanced notice from the court system that you will be getting your wages or bank accounts garnished. Unfortunately, most of the time the first notice you receive is at a time when the garnishment order is already in the system and your bank account is frozen or your wages are already set up to be garnished.
If you need to respond to a garnishment order, timing is of the utmost importance!
How to Prevent Debt Collectors from Garnishing Wages and Bank Accounts:
Filing a Bankruptcy Case Prevents Debt Collectors from Garnishing Wages and Bank Accounts with an injunction called an automatic stay. When you file for bankruptcy the Automatic Stay goes into effect and it stops most debt collection activity and you should no longer receive phone calls or letters from debt collectors. The debt collectors can request for the bankruptcy court to lift the automatic stay and allow them to garnish your bank accounts and wages but usually the bankruptcy court will not allow that unless there are special circumstances.