What does Garnishment mean?
Garnishment, for bankruptcy purposes, refers to the ability of creditors, who have obtained a court-ordered judgment, to collect money from the debtor. A garnishment is a means of collecting money through either an attachment of a debtor's wages or bank account. A certain amount described by law can be legally taken monthly or periodically.
Most garnishment judgments are won in a court of law for child or spousal support, certain taxes, defaulted student loans, or unpaid court fines, but a garnishment or attachment of a bank account can occur for a wide variety of other reasons.
After a debtor files for bankruptcy protection an automatic stay is initiated which will suspend or terminate garnishments until the bankruptcy process is concluded. Creditors may, however, reinitiate the garnishment during a bankruptcy by formally petitioning the bankruptcy court for relief from the automatic stay. Some garnishments are permanently settled through a bankruptcy discharge, but debts such as child support, which are not discharged through bankruptcy, will continue even after the bankruptcy is completed.