Wage Garnishment Lawyer

What is Wage Garnishment?

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Wage garnishment happens when a court orders that your employer divert a portion of your paycheck to the creditor or person to whom you owe money.

 

Child support, consumer debts and student loans are common sources of wage garnishment. Your earnings will be garnished until the debt is paid off or otherwise resolved.

 

You have legal rights, including caps on how much can be taken at once. And you can take steps to lessen the effect and help you bounce back.

Unexpected Wage Garnishment

Wage Garnishment Explained

Type Of Wage Granishment And How It Happens

Wage garnishment is more common than you might think. A report by ADP Research Institute found that 7.2% of the 13 million employees it assessed had wages garnished in 2013. For workers ages 35 to 44, the number hit 10.5%. The top reasons were child support; consumer debts and student loans; and tax levies.

There are two types of garnishment:

  • In wage garnishment, creditors can legally require your employer to hand over part of your earnings to pay off your debts.
  • In nonwage garnishment, commonly referred to as a bank levy, creditors can tap into your bank account.

Garnishment often happens when a creditor sues you for nonpayment of a debt and wins in court. Sometimes, though, a creditor can force garnishment without a court order, for instance, if you owe child support, back taxes or a balance on federal student loans.

The court will send notices to you and your bank or employer, and the garnishment will begin in five to 30 business days, depending on your creditor and state. The garnishment continues until the debt, potentially including court fees and interest, is paid.

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