No one wants to go through wage garnishment, yet it is a reality that some have to face. At the moment, it is estimated that one in 10 Americans are dealing with garnishments, so you are definitely not the only one.

The IRS has the power to garnish, its unique power because unlike other creditors, it does not require a judgement issued by a judge ruling to initiate collections. This could put you in a terrible predicament that may seem impossible to get out of. Do not fret, the following guide is meant to help you stay afloat if you are going through this.

Go to the Courts

The percentage that could be garnished can be between 10 to 25 percent, which can be quite dramatic since most people already live paycheck to paycheck. This could put you in a pretty difficult position, but there are options; for example, you can file a "slow pay" motion. In essence you are telling the judge that the amount being garnished is seriously crippling your ability to pay for the bare necessities.

You are going to be given an opportunity to show your expenses and explain how these garnishments are hurting your living situation. Keep in mind that missed payments are not allowed or you waive your ability to file again. Legally fighting the garnishment of wages is no easy task, so make sure you hire specialized help if you choose to go down this path.

That Job is Golden

It is going to be quite tempting to quit your job to try to escape the garnishments, but resist that temptation. The reality is your debt is going to follow you sooner or later. Continuously jumping from job to job to escape this is not only going to get tiring, but it may also leave a bad impression on employers, which could make it harder for you to find new jobs.

No one is saying you cannot ask for a raise, look for additional gigs, or a second job to make ends meet. The key here is to try to stick to the job you already have to avoid stirring up any trouble. Keep in mind that the garnishments are not meant to last forever, so try to stay calm, and be patient during this process.

Stay with Your Creditors

Perhaps the hardest thing for you to stay on top of now that you are being garnished are the bills. You are probably going to prioritize shelter, food, and transportation, and this could make it harder to keep up with any additional bills. It may feel strange to call these creditors for help, but it is something you must do.

Get in contact with any company you owe money to, and ask for extensions or a plan that could accommodate your new financial situation. This could help you stay afloat, and it could help relieve some of the stress you may be feeling at the time. A good payment plan may be the solution, but make sure it is a plan you can follow through on because you need these companies to trust you.

Budget Like Never Before

It is important that you budget, especially if you are a business owner because you have much more to lose. At this point, drawing a hard line between necessities and desires is vital. Sure, it may be hard to let go of that extra employee or those services that give you pleasure, but you need to recognize the situation you are in.

The first step is to jot down all your expenses, both personal and business. Having this list in front of you should help you see what expenses can be eliminated. It is going to take time to adjust to changes, but you will likely rest easy paying less, at least until the garnishment order is finally lifted.

Hopefully, this information helps you survive this circumstance. Do not be afraid to ask for help from financial advisers or money managers. There is no need to sugar-coat this predicament because it is going to be difficult for you, but you can see that you are not as helpless as you might have imagined.

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Author, Freelance writer