Apart from settling a debt, bankruptcy is the only other way to forcibly stop wage garnishing. Wage garnishing is when creditors can take a percentage of your paycheck to pay debt that is owed. In the state of Arizona, the maximum that creditors can garnish from a debtor’s pay check is 25%. Filing bankruptcy stops wage garnishing because an Automatic Stay will be put into place that prohibits creditors from collecting money.

After your bankruptcy has been discharged, collection agencies cannot continue to garnish wages because the debt is extinguished via the discharge order. The exception is if a bankruptcy is dismissed without discharge. If this occurs, wage garnishments can commence once again to pay your debt.

You may even to be able to get some of the garnished wages back. This just depends on if the bankruptcy was filed and if the creditors were alerted on time. Creditors would have to give the garnished wages back, even if they were not alerted in time because under bankruptcy law it is prohibited to garnish wages during a bankruptcy.

To stop wage garnishment as quickly and efficiently as you can, you must list and notify your creditors as soon as you file. Also, notifying the payroll department of your employer can also put a stop to wage garnishing.

Source: Nolo: Law of All, “How Bankruptcy Can Stop Wage Garnishments,” Baran Bulkat, 2015.