1. It’s a Race Against the Clock
From the moment your Human Resources Dept is served the wage garnishment, the service on them creates a lien on your paycheck.
See Collect Access LLC v. Hernandez (In Re Hernandez), BAP Nos. SC 12-1209, SC 12-1217 (9th Cir. BAP, Dec. 14, 2012).
RACE TO YOUR BANK RIGHT NOW. If your wages have been garnished, then there is a high probability that your bank accounts are about to be levied if they haven’t already. Stop what you are doing. But read the Disclaimer first. Then Stop reading this article and RACE to your Bank right now and drain your accounts.
Disclaimer: This is not legal advice and you are not my client. This post is for educational and recreational purposes only. Additionally it may be considered sound medical advice or possibly improve your golf game. Draining your accounts could cause you to bounce checks or other scheduled withdrawals. And you know what else does that, bank levies.
2. Filing Bankruptcy Before the Sheriff Gets your Money
Even if you file bankruptcy quickly, you might not get it back. However, it will stop any further garnishments moving forward. First you must file the bankruptcy. Then that bankruptcy notice must get to the Sheriff’s Office that served the wage garnishment. Additionally, that Sheriff’s Office must then fax or send a Notice of Stay to your payroll Department. ALL OF THAT must happen before the payroll department sends the fourth of your check to the Sheriff’s Office. If all those stars line up in time, then you get to keep your whole paycheck.
We can file the same day you come in to my office in Murrieta which is just North of Temecula. Same is true for Lake Elsinore, Menifee, Hemet, Moreno Valley or anywhere else in Southern California. However, that doesn’t mean that the Sheriff’s Office will serve the notice of stay on your payroll department that same day. They are short staffed and back logged. They’re also not open on the weekends.
3. Serving the Notice of Bankruptcy on the Sheriff
The Los Angeles Sheriff is easy and can be served by email. The Orange County Sheriff responds well to faxed notices of the bankruptcy filing. Sacramento will pick up on their faxes quickly as well. For most Sheriff’s Offices in San Diego County, a fax is probably going to be fine, but if you have the chance to walk them in, you should do it. If the notice is sent in via fax, we follow up with a phone call the Sheriff’s Office to make sure that they did receive it. However, you should also do a follow up phone call too just to be on the safe side.