How Can I Stop a Wage Garnishment in Ontario?

April 5, 2011

There are six ways to stop a wage garnishment in Ontario.

The first and most obvious way to stop a wage garnishment is to make a deal with the creditor to pay it.  Of course this isn’t easy, because presumably if you could have made a deal you would have done it before they went to court and garnisheed your wages.  However, in some cases the creditor may agree to let you make payments to them directly, and in return they stop the wage garnishment.

If you can’t make a deal, you could go to court and ask the judge to stop the garnishment, or change the terms, perhaps by reducing the amount taken each paycheque.  This is not easy, because you are asking a judge to change their mind.  They already decided that your wages should be garnisheed, so you will need a very good reason to get them to vary the original court order.

If a wage garnishment has already started, you could simply let the garnishment continue until it is completed.  If the total amount you owe is small, such as a few hundred dollars on a payday loan, this may be the most logical option.  However, if you are being garnisheed for $50,000 at the rate of $100 per week, you will probably be retired before the garnishment is finished, so you need another option.

Quitting your job is an option, because if you have no wages, there is nothing to garnishee.  Of  course if you are not working you won’t have any money, so this is not a very practical solution, unless you have another job to go to.  The relief from switching jobs may only be temporary; once they find you at your new job the wage garnishee may start again.

That leaves two final options: filing a consumer proposal, or declaring bankruptcy in Ontario.  Both alternatives are legal procedures that stop wage garnishments.

In a consumer proposal you make monthly payments to deal with your debts.  By declaring bankruptcy your debts are also eliminated.

NOTE: A wage garnishment for child support or spousal support, or garnishments related to court ordered restitution, will not stop when you file a consumer proposal or personal bankruptcy.  The rules are complicated, so we strongly recommend that you contact an Ontario Consumer Proposal Administrator or Bankruptcy Trustee to arrange for a no charge initial consultation.

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