Bankruptcy Law Questions? Ask a Bankruptcy Lawyer.
It is possible to force a debtor into involuntary bankruptcy. The requirements for placing a debtor into an involuntary bankruptcy are spelled out in Section 303 of the federal Bankruptcy Code. Virtually any debtor is eligible - whether an individual, partnership, corporation, or trust - except farmers and non-business corporations. A debtor is eligible if it meets either of two tests: (1) it is generally not paying its debts (other than those that are the subject of a bona fide dispute) as they become due, or (2) a custodian has been appointed during the last 120 days to take charge of substantially all of the debtor's property. Once proof of either of these two circumstances is made, the bankruptcy court must place the debtor into bankruptcy for liquidation of its assets (Chapter 7) or court-supervised reorganization (Chapter 11).
If he meets these requirements, then you can do this. However, you will need an attorney. Prices vary depending on how much of a fight the debtor puts up. My experience is that this will cost no less than $3000.00 to go through the entire process.
Can I get a garnishment on his wages? Is it different in California vs. Mississippi?
The bankruptcy code is federal law, so it applies to every state evenly.
If you don't want to go this route, you can garnish his wages. However, in order to do so, you have to get a judgment against him first. Once the judgment is endered, you can file a suggestion for writ of garnishment and a writ of garnishment.
My suggestion is to hire an attorney to sue the debtor, get a judgment and then get the garnishment going. The attorney's fees should be recoverable in the garnishment action.