A man with his coins stacked up trying to make ends meet while experiencing IRS wage garnishments. A Seattle wage garnishment lawyer can help.

The IRS has broad powers when it comes to collection enforcement.  A levy gives the IRS the power to seize the property of a taxpayer with an outstanding tax liability.  Common Levies include bank levies, wage garnishments, and social security benefit levies.  In addition, the IRS can seize physical assets too.

Once a levy is issued a taxpayer has 21 days to request a release of the levy so it is important not to ignore a Notice of Levy in the mail.  I have years of experience negotiating Release of Levies for my clients.  Most importantly, I can prevent embarrassing levies from even being issued. In fact, one of the first action items for every case is securing a collection hold for all of my clients.

Seattle Legal Services, PLLC, is a leader in IRS Tax Resolution and Defense.  I don’t just talk about results I get results for all of my clients.  See for yourself below.

Example – IRS Notice Of Levy And Release (PDF)

This client came to me with a One Time Bank Levy that completely wiped out their bank account.  Within a few hours I had the bank levy released and my client’s money back in their bank account.  If you want results and peace of mind Call Seattle Legal Services, PLLC at 206-536-3152 now!

Our Seattle Wage Garnishment Lawyer Assists with IRS Wage Levies

Whether you have overdue taxes and fear wage garnishment or are having your wages garnished by the IRS, an experienced wage garnishment lawyer in Seattle, Washington can help. Since wage garnishments take a toll on your financial stability, you will want to connect with a professional offering tax resolution services as soon as possible. Serving Seattle, Bellevue, Tacoma, Kirkland, and Lynnwood, Seattle Legal Services, PLLC helps individuals in trouble with the IRS find the debt relief they need.

What Are IRS Wage Garnishments?

Wage garnishment is when you have a portion of your paycheck withheld to pay off an outstanding debt. A third party, usually your employer, will have received legal permission to handle your money via a court judgment.

Before a creditor can garnish your wages, they must seek a court order or garnishment order, which permits them to collect the money. You will receive notice that a party is requesting to garnish the wages you receive from your employer. If you disagree with the court’s choice to garnish your pay, your next step will be filing a hearing to dispute the default judgment.

Generally, however, the IRS doesn’t need court approval to garnish your wages. If you receive a notice about IRS wage garnishment, reach out ASAP to appeal or make payment arrangements. Otherwise, the IRS will send a 668-W form telling your employer to start the wage garnishment. 

What Is the Difference Between an IRS Wage Levy and a Garnishment?

Levies and garnishments are collection methods used by creditors or government agencies to take a portion of your income or assets. A levy allows creditors to access one of your bank accounts.

The account will be frozen as the agency or creditor takes money from the account to repay your debt; future deposits will be taken until the levy is removed. Garnishment is where your employer takes a portion of your paycheck and sends them to the creditor or agency.

Can My Social Security Payments be Garnished?

Many individuals worry that their Social Security benefits will be garnished with their income. If private creditors are your concern, then you can rest easy, because they cannot collect from your benefits.

However, the IRS is not bound to the same rules as private parties. The Internal Revenue Service can collect up to 15% of your Social Security benefits if your taxes are delinquent.

How Much Can Be Garnished?

Federal law, specifically the Consumer Credit Protection Act, limits the amount of money that can be garnished from your wages. The maximum is decided by calculating the lower of these amounts:

  • 25% of your disposable earnings (if your disposable income is over $290)
  • Any amount more than 30 times the federal minimum hourly wage

Disposable earnings typically refer to what’s left of your paycheck after social security, taxes, and unemployment insurance are removed. Expenses like housing, food, and transport are not considered when calculating how much creditors will begin garnishing.

Can You Negotiate After Wage Garnishments Have Begun?

Typically, once a creditor has begun to garnish wages, they continue until the debt is paid unless you file for bankruptcy or take another legal action to stop it. However, Seattle wage garnishment attorneys who are experienced in financial law may be able to negotiate with lenders to help you find debt relief.

Wage garnishment lawyers in Seattle may be able to help you negotiate down certain debts using a payment plan or suggest you file bankruptcy to halt wage garnishment. They can also advise you if seeking debt counseling, and scheduling a free consultation with a counselor could positively impact your financial situation.

Individuals dealing with the IRS may be eligible for an offer in compromise. This option allows you to settle your debt for less than the full amount.

Factors such as your income, ability to repay, and expenses will be considered. As the offer in the compromise program is not accessible to everyone, you will need to be sure you fit the parameters to be considered before applying.

A Seattle Wage Garnishment Attorney Will Protect Your Income

You will have to work with an attorney to stop wage garnishment. There are legal options you can pursue to prevent your bank account from taking a hit, but you will need help.

Working with skilled attorneys can minimize the impact your debts have on your income. They can also help you determine if bankruptcy could improve your situation.

Types of IRS Wage Garnishments

Garnishment exists in various debt contexts, but there are several primary types of garnishments that the court can require individuals to pay. Some common wage garnishments include:

  • Unpaid taxes
  • Defaulted student loans
  • Overdue credit cards
  • Outstanding medical bills
  • Overdue child support

Warning signs that a petition for wage garnishment may be filed against you in court include multiple attempts to collect, repeated bounced checks, late payments, and warning notices about overdue child support. Consulting a lawyer as soon as you notice these warning signs can help you craft a plan to stop wage garnishment from occurring.

How to Stop IRS Wage Levies: Bankruptcy

Filing a bankruptcy petition is an effective way of stopping wage garnishment. The bankruptcy code is a law that protects specific property and other assets from being garnished and implements an automatic stay.

Bankruptcy provides an automatic stay that stops all garnishments, no matter how many creditors are pursuing a court order to garnish your wages. While some individuals may be hesitant to claim bankruptcy as a way to help them manage their debt, it can be a practical way to avoid garnishment.

Contact the Creditor First

Many attorneys recommend reaching out to your creditor as soon as you receive notice that you need to catch up on your payments. A creditor may be willing to allow you to repay your debt slowly or negotiate a lower amount if it means they can get paid without going to court.

You can avoid the unpleasant experience of receiving a notice that wage garnishment is about to begin if you contact them before the garnishment is filed. Having an experienced wage garnishment attorney in Seattle, Washington help you seek debt relief before your income or bank account is garnished can help you avoid the unnecessary stress of filing for bankruptcy.

Consult a Seattle Wage Garnishment Lawyer Today

Sometimes your life circumstances can prevent you from making tax payments and put you at risk for wage garnishment and levies. When you owe back taxes or face other financial issues with the IRS, it can be hard not to feel discouraged as letters come in and penalties rack up.

Trying to manage IRS wage levies will quickly become overwhelming. The best thing you can do to improve your financial situation is to contact a wage garnishment lawyer immediately.

You do not have to handle your tax problems alone. Call Seattle Legal Services, PLLC at 206-536-3152 today, and receive the legal help you need to protect your assets.