Wage garnishment is a scary word and is misunderstood by most people. Many are under the impression that if they miss a credit card payment, their wages will immediately be garnished. However, this is not true. It is important to understand how garnishment works and how you can avoid it.
It is important to note that a credit card company cannot garnish your wages unless they have a judgment against you. To get a judgment against you, they first have to sue you. A process server will knock on your door and drop off a complaint and summons. You then have the opportunity to respond and may even go to trial. If you lose at trial, only then can they garnish your bank accounts or wages.
These same rules do not always apply to every situation. If you are dealing with the IRS, there are no hard and fast rules. If you do not pay your taxes, they can garnish your bank account without notice, although the IRS usually sends notice through the mail.