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What happens when wages are garnished?

Wage garnishments are reductions in income that can damage credit and make life seem unaffordable. Fortunately, it is rare that creditors feel they must resort to garnishing wages, and there are several ways out of it.

An attorney may help employees who have their wages reduced to pay off creditors if they wish to end this process.

Who can garnish wages?

Although many types of creditors and authorities can apply to have wages garnished, a court with recognized jurisdiction over the financial matter is the only authority that can approve a wage garnishment. This is only done if the court is convinced that a debt is owed and the creditor has made reasonable attempts to recover it.

How much of a wage may be garnished?

Federal courts will approve a garnishment on up to 25 percent of a debtor's disposable earnings earned weekly, under the Consumer Credit Protection Act (CCPA). The total may be higher in some cases. If back payment of child support is the cause for garnishment, it may be as high as 60 percent of total disposable income.

Can someone be fired because of wage garnishment?

A single debt cannot be the reason for dismissal by an employer, according to federal law. However, an employer can terminate employment if two or more garnishments are applied to the worker's salary.

How are wage garnishments best avoided?

Student loans are often structured to help borrowers avoid default. Child support may be modified by court order if it is unaffordable. Public and private debts may be restructured in ways that allow debtors to repay what they owe through new payments.

Source: FindLaw, "Wage Garnishment," accessed Dec. 01, 2017

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