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shurmust
shurmust, Criminal Justice Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 165
Experience:  I have completed over fifty jury trials in the last three years and teach part-time at a local state college.
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I owe a federal restitution I missed some payments due to financial

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I owe a federal restitution I missed some payments due to financial difficulties. I just received a notice of a 25% wage garnishment is there any way to fight it in court.

shurmust :

Greetings! I am happy to help you on this matter.

shurmust :

When was the restitution ordered? What was it ordered for? Are you currently working? What are your current expenses for necessities (Food, Clothes, Shelter)?

shurmust :

I am trying to answer the question the best as possible. Who was the letter addressed from?

Customer: The restitution was ordered in may of 2000 I am currently working my expenses are $3500 a month the last few months my income was below that by $ 1500 I work on 100% commission I also have 3 children and a pregnant wife
shurmust :

Have you paid any of the restitution? Are you on probation?

Customer: Us dept of justice us attorneys office dist of Colorado. But I currently live in texas I have paid thousands on it and I have been off supervised release for a year
shurmust :

It really doesn't matter where you live now. When you were sentenced, did the court order you to make monthly payments in a fixed amount? Have you been in a compliance?

shurmust :

Are you willing to continue to make full restitution? I am guessing you just want the 25% reduced.

Customer: The court did not require monthly payments they asked for the full amount and when it wasn't paid hit me with interest and penalties I have been dealing with the financial litigation unit in denver on the monthly amount which kept raising this year and I told them I couldn't make the payments then got hit with the garnishment letter yesterday yes I want the 25% reduced or go back on a realistic payment
shurmust :

Did the letter say you have a certain time frame to comply or respond?

shurmust :

This is what one should do: Make a spreadsheet of ALL of your expenses. Compare that to the 25 percent the Government wishes to garnish.

shurmust :

The Court can not make you destitution. As you suggested, you need to have a "realistic" payment.

shurmust :

The only way the court can determine that is by looking at your expenses. You may be required to do away with some of your expenses short of necessities.

Customer: It says I have 20 days to request a hearing for exemptions and to change the location if i dont live close to the court
shurmust :

Yes. Have you considered hiring a public defender or calling for a criminal lawyer.

shurmust :

I know you don't have a lot of money, but maybe someone will take it for $500 and you can make payments to him/her.

shurmust :

Maybe someone will take it pro-bono.

shurmust :

Call the Federal Public Defender's office in TX where you live.

shurmust :

You will need a hearing.

shurmust :

Also, advise them that you are attempting to hire an attorney to represent you on this matter.

shurmust :

However, you want to make sure you have all of your documents in order in an effort to get the restitution lowered including your income.

shurmust :

This way either you, or a lawyer will go in and under oath present everything to the court.

Customer: The best advice you have is to hire an attorney? I really just wanted to know if once a garnishment is filed can it be stopped or the percentage lowered
shurmust :

Yes. It can be.

shurmust :

As it stated on the letter, you have 20 days to request a hearing.

shurmust :

At the hearing you will present the information that suggests why it needs to be lowered. I am presuming you were not previously given this opportunity and already waived your right to contest or lower the restitution.

shurmust :

I always caution individuals, especially in Federal Court, to not navigate this on your own. The last thing I would want to see happen is you end up in deeper trouble then you started with.

Customer: Thank you. you have been helpful
shurmust :

Please provide positive feedback.

shurmust and 2 other Criminal Law Specialists are ready to help you