How is it that collection agencies can garnish bank accounts and paychecks, leaving 20% of income?

Question Details:

A friend got in serious financial trouble and wants to declare bankruptcy. The garnishments leave $200 a month to live on - not near enough to hire an attorney to help. The latest garnishment will take an additional (unknown) percentage of what's left. How can this be legal, and how can she attempt to get out of this hole?

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