Frequently Asked Questions
Mail or fax a copy of the bankruptcy notice form, showing the date you filed, to:
Defense Finance and Accounting Services - Cleveland
P.O. Box 998002
Cleveland, OH 44199-8002
Toll-free Phone: 888-DFAS-411 (888-332-7411)
Fax: 216-522-6960 (commercial)
877-622-5930 (toll free)
How long does it take after sending the bankruptcy notice for DFAS to stop a commercial garnishment, involuntary allotment or administrative debt collection?It can take 1-2 weeks for DFAS to stop your commercial garnishment or involuntary allotment. The main reason for the delay is that we often receive the bankruptcy notice after the cutoff date for making changes and the change does not take effect until the next pay cycle. If an amount is garnished or collected after you filed bankruptcy, please inform the creditor that you filed bankruptcy.
Additionally, it can take 1-3 weeks for termination of a debt that is being withheld by DFAS. Debt collection actions such as advanced pay, overpayments of pay and allowances travel pay, etc. are maintained by DFAS Military Pay and Civilian Pay offices and not Garnishment Operations. When we receive your bankruptcy notice, we alert the pay offices to stop these collections.
How do I submit a bankruptcy order that requires DFAS to withhold a certain amount and pay it to the Bankruptcy Trustee on a monthly or bi-weekly basis?Submit all orders to the address listed above under question 1.This is usually in a Chapter 13 case but can include Chapter 7 orders in rare cases.
Bankruptcy orders are processed within 1-2 weeks from receipt. Any deductions will be started as soon as the pay cycle allows. If DFAS does not make a timely payment to the Trustee, it is your responsibility to pay the amount directly to the Trustee until the withholding is implemented.
Bankruptcy law authorizes us to withhold up to 100 percent as directed by the Trustee of the employee's disposable earnings. For example, if we are withholding 50 percent for child support, we will withhold from the remaining 50 percent of your disposable income for the bankruptcy order.
What happens to a garnishment order, involuntary allotment, or debt collection when a bankruptcy has been filed?The automatic stay provisions of the bankruptcy law require that all commercial garnishments, involuntary allotments and debt collections stop once a person files bankruptcy.
Bankruptcy law indicates that child support, alimony, child support arrears and alimony arrears, do NOT terminate when a person files bankruptcy. In order for us to stop withholding for child support or alimony, the bankruptcy order must specifically direct us to terminate these withholdings.
If your bankruptcy case is dismissed by the court this means that all debt collection and garnishments can resume because there is no valid bankruptcy case. A dismissal is different from discharge. When you receive a bankruptcy discharge, it means that the court has discharged all of the applicable debts and a creditor can no longer collect debts that were discharged.
Are there certain types of debts that can still be collected after a debtor receives a bankruptcy discharge?Generally, there are a few debts that are not discharged by a bankruptcy order. For example, new debt that occurs after the date the person files bankruptcy, government-funded educational loans, etc. Please consult an attorney for specific information on what types of debts will not be discharged.
If we receive a garnishment or involuntary allotment request for a debt that was not discharged, after the bankruptcy has terminated, we will be mandated to garnish your pay. If you believe that the specific debt was in fact discharged, please notify us immediately with documentation and/or proof as to why you believe the debt was discharged.
Updated January 18, 2013