Wage Garnishment 101: Top Things You Must Know

person looking at emloyee's financial documents

Wage garnishment is a court order that mandates a person’s employer to divert part of that person’s income to settle debts owed to a loan institution or an individual. This process will continue until such a point that the person’s entire debt has been paid off. Such debts may come from student loans, credit card debts, child support payments, and loans from lenders.

You must know the essential aspects concerning wage garnishment to ensure that your legal rights are protected so you won’t end up being financially burdened by it. To help you out in such a predicament, here are five essential things that you must know about wage garnishment:

You would need an attorney to assist you

Wage garnishment, being a legal process, requires representation on your part. This is why you have to secure the services of a wage garnishment attorney. Salt Lake City and other Utah areas have many competent wage garnishment lawyers that you can ask for help. Your lawyer will explain everything there is to know about the process, help negotiate the lowest amount to be taken from your regular paychecks, and represent you in court sessions related to your case.

Debtors and individuals to whom you owe money can be quite aggressive in demanding payments from you and your lawyer can help negotiate the best term that will result in the least financial impact on you.

The percentage of wage garnishment varies

There is no one-size-fits-all amount of wage garnishments for all types of financial responsibilities or debts. For example, child support could render up to 65% of your wage being garnished while unpaid taxes could result in 15% of your wages being diverted to the federal government. The majority of wage garnishment cases involve some form of debt whole the rest are for financial obligations like alimony and child support.

You may not be subjected to wage garnishment

Do you make under $217.50 each week? If so, then you might be spared from getting your wage garnished. This applies primarily to consumer debts such as those credit card purchases that you’ve had. However, it could be a different scenario altogether for child support or federal taxes that you owe. To be sure, you must consult your lawyer as he or she could best determine if you indeed fall under such an exception for wage garnishment.

You may try to negotiate with your debtors first

person paying his loan

You must prevent your debtors from taking you to court for the amount that you owe them. One way of doing this is by negotiating with them about a payment scheme that is amenable to both sides. Most debtors would prefer such a remedy instead of filing a court case to collect payment. Use this recourse to your advantage.

Wage garnishment is perfectly avoidable

You are not entirely powerless against the possibility of wage garnishment. The solution is pretty easy and straightforward: pay off your debts slowly and regularly, whether it’s a credit card debt or a student loan. When you can, never take out a loan or incur debt that would force you to default on your payments. The takeaway here is addressing the root of the problem, which is owing money.

With these essential pieces of information or knowledge, you can react better or avoid wage garnishment altogether. Keep in mind that being in such a situation can make your financial standing shakier, so make the conscious effort to settle your financial responsibilities the best way you can.

The Author


Scroll to Top