Never, if you file bankruptcy first.
That being said, it’s usually a lie on the part of the debt collector. Garnishment is the tail end of a series of legal actions, and unless you’ve already been served, had a judgment entered against you, and given them your employer info to send the garnishment paperwork, then they are bluffing. Basically, if they filed a lawsuit today, it will usually be about 45 days before you see the first garnishment from your wages.
If they do already have a judgment, they will serve the papers on the payroll office of your employer. Even then, payroll will normally inform you and give you a fair heads-up kind of warning.
It sounds scary on the phone, but collectors tend to say nasty things. Many of those nasty things are at best, gross misrepresentations, and at worst, bald-faced lies.
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