Understanding Wage Garnishment And Credit Card Debt
Many consumers in Pennsylvania worry that their wages may be garnished for credit card debt. Luckily for Pennsylvanians, wages cannot be garnished to pay credit card debt. In fact, credit card companies and debt collectors in Pennsylvania cannot even threaten to garnish your wages. Pennsylvania law prevents debt collection companies from garnishing your wages even if they sue you for credit card debt or are awarded a judgment against you. We will delve into wage garnishment further, below.
What Is Wage Garnishment?
Wage garnishment is a legal procedure in which funds are seized – without your consent – directly from your employer. When this occurs, money that should appear on your paycheck instead goes to the company or entity that is garnishing your wages.
Debt Collectors Cannot Threaten To Garnish Wages For Credit Card Debt
Here in Pennsylvania, debt collectors cannot threaten to garnish your wages for credit card debt. Two laws prevent them from doing this: a federal law called the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) and a Pennsylvania state law called the Fair Credit Extension Uniformity Act (FCEUA).
These laws prohibit creditors/debt collectors from making deceptive, false, or misleading statements. Since credit card debt cannot be collected through wage garnishment in Pennsylvania, threatening to do so qualifies as a false/deceptive/misleading statement. Any debt collector that makes such a threat is violating state and federal law.
Suing Debt Collectors For False Statements
Both the FDCPA and the FCEUA allow Pennsylvanians to sue debt collectors who make false or misleading statements. This is a huge boon for Pennsylvania residents, as debt collectors frequently make false/misleading statements. Consumers who have been harassed by debt collectors can seek several types of damages:
- Actual Damages
- Statutory Damages
- Attorney’s Fees
“Actual damages” compensate you for monetary loss and harm. By “harm” we mean emotional distress, stress, anxiety. Debt collectors’ harassment can be extremely stressful and distressing. Statutory damages are damages that you are entitled to receive when a debt collector violates a law.
Pennsylvania residents may receive statutory damages of up to $1,000. When debt collectors violate the law, Pennsylvania residents may even be entitled to compensation for cour costs and legal fees stemming from the case. This gives Pennsylvania residents the power to fight harassment from debt collectors.
What To Do If You Are Being Harassed By Creditors
If you are being harassed and threatened by creditors in Pennsylvania, you don’t have to just sit there and take it. State and federal laws protect you from such harassment. As we said before, your court costs and legal representation may even be free. All the more reason to contact an experienced debt lawyer in Pennsylvania.
A debt lawyer can help you fight debt collectors who have used misleading or deceptive practices. Trust us, debt collectors fear experienced attorneys. If you are being harassed by creditors for old debt, contact the Law Firm of Fenters Ward today.