Can a creditor ever garnish my wages before obtaining a judgement against me?
YES. An aggressive creditor may seek a pre-judgment garnishment as soon as it files the complaint.
True, the pre-judgment garnishment remedy is not automatic. The creditor must prove certain elements to the satisfaction of the court, such as the specific monetary amount due, probability of success on the collection suit, and the likelihood you’ll have no assets left to garnish after the judgment is obtained, i.e., that it does not have an adequate legal remedy if it has to wait.
The reason the creditor might want to seek a pre-judgment garnishment is simple: during the pre-judgment time period, a debtor is free to treat his cash and assets as he pleases, as long as he doesn’t dispose or move them in some fraudulent or unlawful manner.
Thus, in this featured article, learn what the actions the debtor might take to avoid a post-judgment garnishment, and the steps a creditor may take to obtain a pre-judgment garnishment.