Vance P. Truman, Attorney at Law
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What debts do creditors generally garnish wages for?

If you've had the misfortune of receiving debt collection calls or notices in the mail before, then you've probably been warned that your creditor may file suit against you if you don't pay. What you may not realize is that once a lawsuit gets filed against you, you generally have some time to appeal the judgment. If you don't, then your creditor may be allowed to begin garnishing your wages.

Virtually any creditor can file to have your wages garnished. It's a more common practice among state child support authorities, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), federal student loan servicers and unsecured consumer debt companies though.

Most creditors will make every attempt to reach you by phone or mail before filing a suit against you. It's only if you don't respond to these efforts that they'll seek to have a portion of the amount that you owe them withheld from your paycheck. Once an Ohio judge starts allowing your creditor to garnish your wages, they'll be able to do so until you've fully paid off your debt to them.

Creditors can generally request that a Medina judge allows them to withhold up to 25% of your disposable earnings. This means that if you make more than 30 times the federal minimum wage of $7.25 each week, an amount that equates to $217.50, then you may have your wages garnished.

Employers are generally prohibited from firing workers for a single garnishment but may be able to do so if they are notified that their employee has subsequent ones.

One of the best things that you can do to minimize your risk of having your wages garnished is to speak with your creditors right away to let them know of your hardships as soon as you become delinquent in paying what you owe. An attorney can advise you of other options for addressing your debt problems if things are in dire straights, and you'll do know what to do.

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