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When you file for bankruptcy, the automatic stay is an automatic injunction against your creditors. They may not continue collection efforts against you. Those collection efforts include garnishment orders on your paychecks or bank accounts. You usually cannot get the money back that has already been garnished, but any amounts that are not already with the creditor when you file may be returned to you.
After a creditor has obtained a judgment against you, a garnishment against your bank account or wages is a common way for a creditor to try to force you to pay toward the judgment. When that happens, may people are unable to absorb the upwards of a 25% gross reduction in their paycheck. That is when bankruptcy is a solution.
A civil lawsuit for breach of contract can sometimes be reduced to a judgment with very little effort or advanced warning. Through the years, many clients have come in when an old debt comes back to haunt them by way of a garnishment. Their first inkling of trouble is when they try to use their debit card and discover that their bank account has been reduced to a negative balance. That is one of the most jarring things that can happen and leaves many with no choices. Some civil lawsuits can be reduced to a judgment even though you did not know.
A bankruptcy usually stops the garnishment of your bank account and paychecks.