Can a Lender Garnish Your Check or 401K?

We may be facing foreclosure. Can a lender garnish your check or 401K?

1 Answer

A lender does not have the right to garnish your paycheck/attach a 401K until AFTER they have gone into court and gotten a “ deficiency judgment” which indicates they are entitled to additional funds since the sale of the property did not cover the entire amount you owed them. Once they have taken this legal step they will be able to use the judgment as proof of the financial obligation. Then they can ask an employer to garnish wages based on the judgment.

Individual state law will determine how long a lender has to file for a deficiency judgment. Additionally, the type of loan and other guidelines may preclude a lender being able to acquire a deficiency judgment. (i.e.  FHA regulations prohibit the lender going for a deficiency judgment IF the borrower attempted, in good faith, a short sale prior to the foreclosure.)