HomeAWG Hearing: Establishing Financial Hardship

AWG Hearing: Establishing Financial Hardship

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Discussing Financial Discomfort with Lawscape of the Lawscape

Friends, this ain’t your grandmother’s legal advice. Instead, welcome to a crystal-clear insight into the world of Administrative Wage Garnishment (AWG) proceedings, given by yours truly, Lawscape from the Lawscape.

Ready for this? Our lively chat is pinned on two important legislations – the Debt Collection Act of 1982 (DCA) and the Debt Collection Improvement Act of 1996 (DCIA). It’s these pieces of legal jargon that give the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) and the Department of Treasury the green light to initiate AWG proceedings where necessary. You could check it out in all its legislative glory here.

Really Understanding Your AWG Notice

So, let’s say hypothetically you’ve received a fancy AWG notice from the SBA. This notice isn’t just some fancy paper; it’s telling you how much money Uncle Sam thinks you owe him. Ignore it? I wouldn’t recommend it. It’d be like putting a band-aid on a bullet wound. Navigating financial waters can get tricky fast without the right help, and the consequences of disregarding your debts? Even trickier.

Fighting against this kind of order before it’s issued is a lot easier than trying to undo it once it’s done. Put simply, if the SBA fails to hear from you, then it’s a highway to getting your hard-earned dollars garnished by the government.

AWG Proceedings and Financial Hardship as Your Defense

Here’s a plot twist. An AWG proceeding isn’t always one-way traffic. Sometimes, you can mount a defense based on that old chestnut, “financial hardship.” Basically, if the AWG amount might leave you eating cardboard for dinner, you could be looking at a case of financial hardship.

The big shots at the Federal Government have doctrines for us to follow that dictate what counts as financial hardship. They take into account all the necessary expenses: food, clothing, healthcare, housing, utilities, and transportation. If you’re interested in going deeper, delve into these regulations by visiting the IRS website page. Yep, the IRS. I know.

Navigating the Labyrinth of National and Local Standards to Determine Hardship

How do we decide what’s fair game for expenses? And how much of it can the government claim? These standards, both national and local, give us some answers. Borrowed from the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Consumer Expenditure Survey, the National Standards provide guidelines for necessary expenses like food, housekeeping supplies, clothing, personal care products, services, and those sneaky miscellaneous items that aren’t covered under any other category.

Health care, an age-old concern, also has its own standards, based on data from the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey. This involves your medical services, prescription drugs, and medical supplies.

They’ve even got you covered on housing and utilities (yep, even down to cell phone service and garbage collection) at the local level, thanks to data from the U.S. Census Bureau and American Community Survey.

Lastly, the Transportation standards, again broken down to local and national figures, are there to guide you on vehicle payments, upkeep, fuel, or (if you don’t have a car) the standard public transportation costs.

And guess what? If both automobile and public transport expenses are necessary for your health, welfare, or income generation, both can be factored in, although the standard or actual costs (whichever’s lower) will be what’s considered.

Identifying Necessary and Conditional Expenses in Your Financial Hardship Case

Life is complicated, and so is AWG. Your case may involve unique components not covered by the standard expenses. I’m talking about those “necessary” or “conditional” expenses that need to be figured into the equation.

Simply put, if any of your expenses meet the “necessary or conditional” requirement, they may be your ticket to successfully arguing that you’re experiencing severe financial hardship. Feel free to dive into the delicious IRM provisions that cover these types of expenses, right here.

Will this guarantee you can thwart that impending AWG order heading your way? Maybe not, but it gives you some potent ammunition to potentially ward it off.

Once again, you can check out the nitty-gritty of these financial collection standards, here.

Picking the Lawscape to Stick With You Through This Swamp

Over the years, we’ve seen millions of dollars in SBA and Treasury debts resolved, settled, and negotiated, without our clients having to face bankruptcy or foreclosure. What sets us apart? Our keen understanding of the AWG labyrinth, our commitment to creating unique, strategic solutions for each of our clients, and our authorization to represent debtors nationwide before the SBA, SBA Office of Hearings and Appeals, the Treasury Department, and the Bureau of Fiscal Service.

This is not a one-size-fits-all kind of thing. It’s about listening, strategizing, and putting your best financial foot forward.

No more band-aids on bullet wounds, no more ignoring complicated letters. Let’s take this journey together. It’s time to put your financial future back into your hands.

Lawscape Can Help You Manage Your Business Debt

If you’re struggling with business debt, we can help you understand your situation. During the initial consultation, we’ll go over the contract, and other legal documents you signed. After that, our firm will work with you to get a better understanding of your situation, and help you come up with a game plan that keeps your business alive. 

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Everyone has different types of business debt. What matters is that you take it seriously. Regardless of whether it’s secured, or unsecured, you need to work with a firm that understands how to negotiate, reduce, settle, and manage, this business debt. 

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