by John G. Merna, Esq.
The Virginia Homestead Exemption is a powerful tool for getting your money back from a wage garnishment and a bank account garnishment. Not only does it protect the equity in your home but it can also protect personal property including your wages, savings, and other money that might be vulnerable to being garnished by a judgment creditor.
Most people don’t realize that in Virginia garnishments start with the creditor gaining a judgment. With a judgment the creditor can issue garnishment summons to your employer or bank requesting your wages or account holdings be withheld. For judgment creditors the maximum withholdings is 25% of your wages. However, your bank account can be frozen completely.
Garnishments are issued in cycles. Generally, a garnishment cycle is three to six months long. This means the garnishment will begin when your employer or bank received the summons. The money is withheld by your employer or bank and sent to the court. The court holds the money until the end of the cycle which is indicated by the court date, which is also called the “return date”.
There is not hearing scheduled in actually on that “hearing” date. This is the date the court considers that the creditors have the right to the money because you have not acted to indicate to the court that it should be otherwise.
To stop the creditor from getting the money you have to act before the hearing or return date. There are many exemptions that might permit you to recover the money.
Find out how the Virginia Homestead Deed exemption can help you.
We wish you the best of luck in recovering your garnished money.