Who Can Garnish Wages?

There are a variety of creditors who can garnish wages. Typically, a wage garnishment is the end result of a legal process. For instance, creditors who allege that you owe money will sue you. If you don't respond to the lawsuit, creditors can obtain a summary judgment. This means that you agree that you owe the money. Or you can defend your case during a court hearing. However, if you lose and the creditors win, they can garnish your wages. Once creditors obtain a writ of garnishment, you employer becomes involved.

Creditors Can Garnish Wages

Creditors such as credit card companies, medical facilities, debt collection companies and payday lenders can garnish your wages. In addition, people who sue you for personal loans can garnish your wages. Under federal law, creditors can garnish no more than 25 percent of wages. However, whether creditors can obtain the full amount depends on how many creditor have already garnished your wages. For instance, you have a creditor taking 15 percent of you wages, then the new creditor can take the remaining 10 percent.

The Government Can Garnish Wages

There are a variety of governmental agencies that can garnish your wages. If you're behind in child support and alimony, then your wages can be garnished to satisfy the debts. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) can also deduct money from your paychecks. Also, your wages can be garnished if you're defaulted on your student loans. Unlike other creditors such as formal landlords you owe money or credit card companies, the government can deduct more than 25 percent of your wages. In fact, up to 50 percent of your money can be taken out of your weekly, bi-weekly or monthly paychecks to satisfy alimony, child support or taxes.

Consult a Lawyer about Who Can Garnish Your Wages

Whether a creditor is threatening or already garnishing your wages, talk to a lawyer. The lawyer will explain the entire wage garnishment process and possible exemptions. For instance, wage garnishment depends on your disposable income. Thus, you must be left with at least 30 times the current federal minimum wage, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. Also, the lawyer will explain other legal options you have such as bankruptcy. Filing bankruptcy may be able to stop some wage garnishments.

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