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Castle Law Office

Q
What Is Wage Garnishment?

A

Wage garnishment is a legal procedure where a portion of a person’s earnings is required to be withheld by their employer. The withheld wages are then given to a third party to pay off an outstanding debt.

In most cases, wage garnishments are court ordered. Some reasons for court-ordered wage garnishments could be credit card debt when the creditors have already legally sought to recover the money from the individual, or child or spousal support that hasn't been paid. 

Other procedures to garnish wages include IRS or state tax levies to recoup unpaid taxes. Federal agencies can also impose administrative garnishments for non-tax related debts owed to the federal government. 

Generally there are legal limits to how much a person’s wages can be garnished. These limits depend on what type of debt is owed and how much disposable income a worker has after mandatory deductions.

Wage garnishment is regulated by Title III of the Consumer Credit Protection Act. This law protects everyone working in the United States (all 50 states and the District of Columbia) who earns personal earnings through wages, salaries, commission, bonuses and other income.

Tips are generally not considered income in matters of wage garnishment.

In addition to limiting how much money can be garnished from a worker’s pay, the law protects a worker from being fired over wage garnishment when it's limited to a single instance.  

If you're voluntarily asking your employer to make payments from your paycheck to a creditor, this is called a voluntary wage assignment and isn't considered wage garnishment.

To stop wage garnishment, bankruptcy can be a wise option because by law, it puts an end to all garnishments. Castle Law Office has been handling bankruptcies for Kansas City clients from more than 14 years. If you need the fresh start bankruptcy can provide, call us today at 816-842-6200 to speak with an attorney. Or click here to email us and schedule your free consultation.

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