South Carolina Bankruptcy Lawyer Blog
Written by Spartanburg Bankruptcy Lawyer, Däna Wilkinson
There is no wage garnishment statute in South Carolina. That s right none, nada, zippo. Despite the fact that every debt collector out there will do his level best to convince you otherwise, most private creditors have no ability to garnish wages in South Carolina.
Note that I said private. Obviously, government creditors (like the IRS, for taxes, or student loans that have been guaranteed by the government) have the ability to garnish wages. Your wages can also be garnished in South Carolina (and pretty much anywhere else, too) for child support. But most creditors, including credit card companies, finance companies, and medical providers, cannot garnish your wages in South Carolina.
If you were a resident of another state that allows wage garnishment, and a court there issued a garnishment order, and then you moved to South Carolina, you may be subject to garnishment, but note that there are a lot of ifs in that sentence. The court that issued that order must have had jurisdiction over you at the time the order was entered, among other procedural issues, so many such orders are subject to attack. If you receive an out-of-state garnishment order, talk to your employer about it, talk to a lawyer about it, and talk to the South Carolina Department of Consumer Affairs and Department of Labor about it as well. You may have defenses to such an order.
Most South Carolina residents will never see a garnishment order, although practically every creditor that calls you will make that threat. If you receive a wage garnishment order, whether it s an out-of-state order, or from the IRS, it is a good idea to immediately consult a lawyer about such an order. There are options, like bankruptcy, which will stop a garnishment. There are also procedures which may reduce the amount of the garnishment. Finally, and especially with out-of-state orders, there may be ways to attack the way the order was issued. Which of those approaches will best serve your needs depends on your overall financial situation your other obligations, your income, and your budget. Only an attorney can explain all your options.
Däna Wilkinson (pronounced “Donna”) is a bankruptcy lawyer practicing in Spartanburg, South Carolina and serving South Carolina’s upstate region, including Greenville, Spartanburg, Gaffney, Union, Anderson, Easley and Pickens. She has been in practice for more years than she cares to count, but it’s more than 20 years. Däna has been a bankruptcy lawyer from the very beginning of her career as a lawyer.
Däna went to law school at the University of South Carolina, where she was Student Works Editor on the South Carolina Law Review and a member of the Order of Coif. She started doing bankruptcy work while still a student, working for a bankruptcy boutique firm whose members included a Chapter 7 panel trustee, and recognized experts in Chapter 11 reorganizations. She enjoyed the work from the beginning, and upon graduation took a job as a law clerk to the Honorable Rodney Bernard, bankruptcy judge for the Western District of Louisiana. Judge Bernard had spent a number of years on the bankruptcy bench, and was an excellent teacher and mentor. Upon Judge Bernard’s retirement, Däna stayed on for a time as clerk to the Honorable Donald W. Boe, until homesickness for South Carolina struck, and she returned to private practice in Charleston. Four years later, she received an offer to return to Columbia, where she practiced until 1997.
In 1997, planning to start a family, Däna decided to return home to the Upstate, and opened her own practice in Spartanburg in 1998. Over the years, Däna represented all sorts of parties in bankruptcy: business debtors in reorganization, individual debtors, creditors and creditors’ committees, and trustees. In establishing her own practice Däna decided to focus on consumer debtors, ordinary people who find themselves overwhelmed by debt. Her focus is on the individual needs of clients, and on crafting a solution to their unique financial needs. She is committed to helping clients make a fresh start, and preserving their dignity in the process.
Däna is the proud mother of a beautiful, talented and very active daughter, who is, as her mother says, “practically perfect.” She is also active in both church and community activities, all of which means that there is a fair chance that any given blog post was written while in the car pool line or while waiting for a hearing or a meeting to start.
Däna is also certified as a bankruptcy specialist by the South Carolina Supreme Court, which means that she has taken and passed a proficiency examination on bankruptcy law, devoted her practice to bankruptcy for a number of years, and continues to take classes on bankruptcy law and related issues.
Contact information for Däna Wilkinson:
So just to make sure i understand these postings. Being a SC resident if a wage garnishment order was awarded to a creditor in Virginia they still can t garnish my wages. I m asking because I ve been unable to work fulltime for a couple years due to several surgeries I ve had and have been unable to keep up with past credit card payments. Last week I received a court summons at my brother in laws address regarding a wage garnishment brought against me by a creditor in Virginia court. Received it last Monday and the case went to court Friday of the same week. I fully understand I would be better off getting a lawyer and probably filing bankruptcy unfortunately at this time I can not afford even that. Thanks for clarification.
September 29, 2012
Someone please help! My wages have recently been garnished and I have been a SC resident for years! I company from Wisconsin sued me in a Milwaukee court 1100 miles from where I live. I have tried to convince my employer this cannot be done but I am not having any success. This is a result of an old lease agreement on an apartment years ago. What are my options and how can I get this stopped?