Wage Garnishment

How Do I Stop Wage Garnishment In Ontario?

Wage Garnishment in Ontario

We can stop creditors from taking a bite out of your paycheque, leaving you with more money in your pocket

Are wage garnishments straining your budget and causing you stress?

If you fail to repay your lender, they can get a hold of your money through a legal action called wage garnishment. In Ontario, commercial lenders can obtain a court order to take funds straight from your paycheque – you’ll never see this money hit your bank account. They’ll usually begin garnishing your wages if you’ve defaulted on your loans or haven’t made payments despite constant reminders.

Having your wages seized can be a profoundly unsettling and frustrating experience. You work hard each day to bring home a paycheque, only to suddenly find a portion of it whisked away to your creditor’s bank account.

Now, you find with less money each payday, which will only put further stress on your household’s budget. This is especially true in Ontario, where living costs seem to go nowhere but up.

Stop your creditors from garnishing your wages in Ontario

When creditors begin raiding your paycheque, the financial stress on your household can be severe. However, with the right debt relief program, you can take steps to stop wage garnishment no matter where you live in Ontario.

At David Sklar & Associates, we understand how losing part of your income can leave you feeling helpless and defeated. And more importantly, we’ve helped countless Ontario residents halt court-ordered wage garnishments and achieve financial freedom from debt.

Our knowledgeable and personable team of Licensed Insolvency Trustees can review your situation and recommend the best action to stop creditors from taking your money. Not only that, but they can help you restructure your debt and provide you with sound advice to get your financial house in order. If you’re ready to explore your options, contact us for a free, confidential consultation.

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How does wage garnishment work in Ontario?

If you fail to repay your debt, your creditor can ask the court for a judgment allowing them to seize your wages. A wage garnishment order requires your employer to send a portion of your paycheque directly to your creditor. The process continues until your creditor receives all the money you owe them.

Who can garnish your wages in Ontario?

If you fail to repay your debt, your creditor can ask the court for a judgment allowing them to seize your wages. A wage garnishment order requires your employer to send a portion of your paycheque directly to your creditor. The process continues until your creditor receives all the money you owe them.

Any commercial creditor in Ontario can legally garnish your wages, including:

  • Credit card companies
  • Banks
  • Private lenders
  • Government agencies
  • Collection agencies
  • Payday loan lenders
  • Canada Revenue Agency (CRA)

How creditors gain the right to seize your money

Your creditor must file a Statement of Claim to collect your wages and bring the motion to court. From there, they can obtain a judgment against you and receive a wage garnishment order. As the borrower, you’ll have 21 days to dispute the debt or notify the creditor of an error on your account. If you fail to respond with a defence, the court will award your creditor with a Garnishment Order.

In general, lenders need to sue you to garnish your wages. However, there are a couple of exceptions to this rule.

Suppose you owe money to the CRA and cannot or refuse to pay it. In that case, the government agency can legally seize your wages without needing permission from the court. They only need to request your employer to withhold money from your paycheque and remit it to CRA. They do this be sending your employer a legal requirement to pay (RTP) letter.  A copy of the RTP letter will also be sent to you, making you aware of the garnishment that has been placed on your wages.

Similarly, a credit union only has to show that you’ve provided an assignment of your wages to begin collecting your money. In other words, if you’ve given prior consent to the credit union to garnish your wages, they don’t have to obtain a Garnishment Order from the court.

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How much of your wages can be garnished in Ontario?

In Ontario, the maximum amount a commercial creditor can garnish from your paycheque is 20% of your gross income. However, the court will consider your budget, income, expenses, and other financial obligations to determine how much your creditor can collect.

What’s exempt from wage garnishment in Ontario?

Luckily, your creditor isn’t free to seize every source of income you earn. The following income streams are exempt from wage garnishment orders:

  • Canada Pension Plan, Old Age Security, Guaranteed Income Supplement, and Employment income
  • Union membership dues
  • Basic financial assistance (such as welfare payments)
  • Child support payments

However, unlike other commercial creditors, the CRA does have the right to seize certain government benefits, like CPP and OAS payments. Essentially, they’ll issue a set-off order, meaning any payments the federal government owes you will go directly toward settling your CRA debt.

How to stop wage garnishment in Ontario

If you’re looking to put a stop to wage garnishment, you have four options:

  • Repay your debt
  • Negotiate with your creditor
  • File a consumer proposal
  • File for bankruptcy

Repay your debt

Not surprisingly, repaying your creditor the money you owe them will make a wage garnishment vanish.

A quick way to get a hold of the money you need is to obtain another loan and use the proceeds to settle your balance. Doing so will prompt your creditor to cancel the wage garnishment.

However, taking on more debt to pay off your existing debt is only a temporary solution to the problem. You’re now stuck with a new loan – and a new creditor who can also sue you and go after your wages.

Negotiate with your creditors

Some lenders may be willing to negotiate a new payment schedule with you, reduce your interest charges, waive late fees, etc. It doesn’t hurt to contact them to see if they can accommodate your request.

However, if your wages are already being garnished, it’s likely already too late to strike a deal. Your lender probably has lost faith in your promise to repay your debt. Even if you come to some agreement, the terms aren’t legally binding, so your creditor can still seize your wages if they choose to do so.

Consumer proposal

A consumer proposal is a federally regulated insolvency program for borrowers struggling with debt payments. Under the guidance of a Licensed Insolvency Trustee, you’ll have the opportunity to negotiate with your creditors a new repayment plan. You may be eligible to reduce up to 80% of your unsecured debt, leaving you with a more manageable balance to repay.

In addition, filing a consumer proposal will provide you with certain legal protections, one of which is stopping wage garnishments. Once you begin the program, creditors can no longer garnish your wages.

Bankruptcy

Bankruptcy is another federally regulated insolvency program. It differs from a consumer proposal in that it allows you to eliminate up to 100% of your unsecured debt, giving you a fresh start to rebuild your finances. Filing for bankruptcy will also legally stop all wage garnishments, just like a consumer proposal.

However, these benefits come at a price: you’ll need to surrender a considerable portion of your assets to creditors.

Our recommendation for putting an immediate stop to wage garnishment

We can wholeheartedly recommend a consumer proposal to stop wage garnishment in Ontario. It’s also ideal for discharging a sizable chunk of your debt and starting fresh with a new, manageable payment schedule. If you’re unsure how a consumer proposal works, contact David Sklar & Associates. We can walk you through the process step by step. 

If you qualify, filing a consumer proposal will enable you to:

  • Stop wage garnishments 
  • Stop collection calls
  • Keep your assets
  • Pay off all your debt at a fraction of the total in five years or less

While bankruptcy is also a viable option, there’s a good chance that a consumer proposal will provide the debt relief you need to get back on track financially. As a result, you can avoid the harsher consequences of bankruptcy. 

Ready to stop that wage garnishment order that’s been causing you grief? Then contact us today for a free, no-obligation consultation. A Licensed Insolvency Trustee who can review your situation and advise whether filing a consumer proposal or bankruptcy is the best option for you.

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Stop wage garnishment with a Consumer Proposal

Take a moment to learn about the benefits of consolidating your debt with a Consumer Proposal. Our team of Licensed Insolvency Trustees will help you every step of the way.

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Find out how much you can save with our
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Use the slider below to tell us how much you owe and we will show you how much you can save!

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With a consumer proposal at 0% interest, you will only have to pay back:

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*This calculator is for demonstration purposes only. Your results may vary based on your unique financial situation.

Advantages of a Consumer Proposal

Getting into debt is easy. Getting out is a different story.

But it's still possible!

Did you know there is a Canadian debt relief program federally regulated by the Canadian Government, designed to help citizens avoid claiming bankruptcy? This amazing program can only be administered by a Licensed Insolvency Trustee (LIT).

If you’re struggling to make your payments every month and creditors won’t stop calling, we can help.

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