In Washington, creditors can typically garnish a bank account to collect a debt after obtaining a judgment. Prior to filing, 25% of paychecks can be levied, but there is no limit to the amount that can be garnished from a bank account. They can take it all. Garnishing a bank account can be far worse than a payroll levy since they can draw the balance down to zero. Unfortunately, many debtors in both Oregon and Washington only learn this through bitter experience.
Know the Law
It is, however, important to know the laws of the particular state you find yourself in prior to filing. In Oregon, little can be done if funds are lost prior to a case being filed. But in Washington, it may be possible to get some of those funds back. A bankruptcy attorney can help you negotiate the difference and provide you with all the information you’ll need to deal with creditors.
Use your Resources Wisely
If you owe money on a judgment, depositing money into an account becomes a risky proposition since it can be garnished. Until you file bankruptcy, you may want to seriously consider using a check cashing service until your case is filed. Given that there are severe limitations in states like Oregon on the amount of money that can be shown in a bank account at the time of filing, relying on cash and money orders to pay your bills in the month or so before your case is filed may aid you in getting your bankruptcy filed as quickly as possible.
Benefits of Filing
A bankruptcy filing will help protect you from your creditors. After filing, creditors are barred from garnishing your wages and levying your bank accounts. Speed is of the essence since benefits only apply after a bankruptcy has actually been filed. Taking on your creditors alone can be a daunting task. Talk to an attorney at Northwest Bankruptcy and learn how to protect yourself.