Bankruptcy and Garnishment


June 16, 2014 – A common cause for people to file for bankruptcy relief is garnishment.  It is hard to have 25% of your net paycheck taken!  This typically results in a snowball effect; short to pay for utilities, mortgage, rent, food, etc.  Once this happens, people think that the funds are gone and there is nothing you can do.  That is not correct! 

How a wage garnishment works is that an order from a court is given to your employer requiring it to withhold 25% of your net paycheck.  This will go on for a period of 60 days.  At the end of the 60 days the creditor must then get an order directing the employer to turn the funds over.  At that point, the creditor has the funds (quick side note, it does not always work this way but the end result is typically the same)

How bankruptcy helps is that it can stop the garnishment while it is pending.  As an added bonus, it can even reverse a garnishment that has already been completed.

How it stops a bankruptcy is simple: The day you file for bankruptcy relief the creditor can no longer take any action to collect.  That means it has to stop any pending garnishment.  The funds held by your employer (or sometimes by the creditor) must be turned back over to you.

How it reverses a completed garnishment is a little more time sensitive.  In bankruptcy, one is presumed insolvent the 90 days prior to filing for relief.  Basically, this means that any payments to creditors during that time (whether voluntary or involuntary) is a preference and can be reversed.  Garnishments are involuntary payments.

For a garnishment, if it is completed in that 90 day period it can be reversed.  In other words, if the day the order is issued directing your employer to pay the funds to the creditor is in the 90 day period, it can be reversed.  For example, one is garnished from November 1 to January 1.  The creditor then gets an order on January 2 to turn over the funds.  If the debtor files for bankruptcy relief by April 1 (within 90 days of January 2), the employer must give those funds back to the debtor.

There are other factors that may play a part of this.  So, if you are facing a garnishment talk with an expert who can help you with understanding what you are facing.

For more information contact Brian Hanis, Bankruptcy Attorney, Hanis Irvine Prothero, PLLC.

photo of Brian Hanis
Brian J. Hanis
Attorney at Law

253-520-5000 or email

FREE 30 minute bankruptcy consultation

HIP’s Immigration Department attends The Kent School District’s Resource Fair


June 12, 2014 – The attorneys of HIP’s Immigration Department attended the Kent School District Resource Fair held at the Birch Creek Youth Center.  Cynthia Irvine, Florian Purganan, Mary-Beth Leeper, and Meghan Kelly-Stallings, fielded questions from community members and provided written information about DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals), an immigration benefit available to certain noncitizens who arrived to the U.S. as children.  Various local businesses, public agencies and nonprofits also attended the event organized by the Kent School District, Centro Rendu and the King County Housing Authority.

Attorneys Meghan Kelly-Stallings, Florian Purganan, Cynthia Irvine and Mary Beth Leeper.
Meghan Kelly-Stallings, Florian Purganan, Cynthia Irvine, and Mary Beth Leeper.


Immigration Attorney, Mary Beth Leeper
Immigration Attorney, Mary Beth Leeper



2014 KDP Roaring 20’s Dinner Auction

June 6th, 2014 – HIP Law Firm was represented at the Kent Downtown Partnership’s Roaring 20’s Dinner/Auction by Alan Cai, Annette Bolster, Ashley Eades, Becky Walter, Dennis Shanlian, Greg Girard, Jared Eades, Jeremy Benthin, Jorge Ramos, Mike Hanis, and Rebecca Simmons.  Everyone had great time bidding, eating, and showing off their fabulous 20’s attire.  A special “Thank You” to Barb Smith and her talented Committee for a great event; and for an organization that does so much for the Kent Community.  After the event, HIP finished the night at one of their favorite places, Mick Kelly’s Bar and Grill.

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HIP Welcomes Jeremy Benthin


June 6, 2014 – Jeremy Benthin recently joined Hanis Irvine Prothero in the Homeowners’ Association Department assigned to file and archive documents as a Legal File Clerk.  

Jeremy Benthin

Jeremy was born and raised in the Evergreen State. As a former U.S. Marine, Jeremy served two combat missions in Afghanistan. He is currently studying criminal justice and plans to use his  knowledge that institutes the rules and regulations of law to further his career .  On Jeremy’s off days, he enjoys golfing and tennis. When King Felix is in town, you’ll find him at the Mariners games. During those hot weather days, Jeremy’s off on short road trips with good friends; windows down and music up.