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TJ, Esq.
TJ, Esq., Attorney
Category: Bankruptcy Law
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Experience:  JD, MBA
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I am in the state of PA & I am going thru a bad ...

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I am in the state of PA & I am going thru a bad divorce. I bought a car & Harley motorcycle that were his, he paid the payments on them.But they were in my name only(he had no credit). He stuck me with them. Now I can not afford the payments. If I do a voluntary repo on both the car & Harley, can the creditors attach my wages, even if I try to work with them to pay off my debit?
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Bankruptcy Law
Expert:  TJ, Esq. replied 8 years ago.

Hello and thank you for allowing me to address your legal question.

No, in PA wages are generally exempt from garnishment while in the hands of the employer (there are exceptions, but they don't apply in your case). However, it may be possible for the creditor to get the funds after they are paid to you (i.e. by attaching a lien on your bank account). The applicable law is 42-8127, and states as follows:

§ 8127. Personal earnings exempt from process

(a) General rule and exceptions.--The wages, salaries and commissions of individuals shall while in the hands of the employer be exempt from any attachment, execution or other process except upon an action or proceeding:

(1) Under 23 Pa.C.S. Pt. IV (relating to divorce).

(2) For support.

(3) For board for four weeks or less.

(3.1) For amounts awarded to a judgment creditor- landlord arising out of a residential lease upon which the court has rendered judgment which is final. However, the amount subject to attachment shall have deducted from it any security deposit held by the judgment creditor-landlord and forfeited by the judgment debtor-tenant under section 511.1 of the act of April 6, 1951 (P.L. 69, No. 20), [FN1] known as The Landlord and Tenant Act of 1951, unless the security deposit has been applied to payment of rent due on the same premises for which the judgment for attachment has been entered. The judgment creditor-landlord shall have the burden of proving that such security deposit has been applied to payment of rent due on the premises herein described. The sum attached shall be no more than 10% of the net wages per pay period of the judgment debtor-tenant or a sum not to place the debtor's net income below the poverty income guidelines as provided annually by the Federal Office of Management and Budget, whichever is less. For the purposes of this paragraph, "net wages" shall mean all wages paid less only the following items:

(i) Federal, State and local income taxes.

(ii) F.I.C.A. payments and nonvoluntary retirement payments.

(iii) Union dues.

(iv) Health insurance premiums.

(3.2) In the case of wage attachment arising out of a residential lease, to implement the wage attachment, the judgment creditor-landlord shall comply with the Pennsylvania Rules of Civil Procedure and any applicable local rules. The judgment of the magisterial district judge, magistrate or any other court having jurisdiction over landlord and tenant matters or a judgment before the court of common pleas shall reflect that portion of the judgment which is for physical damages arising out of a residential lease.

(4) Under the act of August 7, 1963 (P.L. 549, No. 290), [FN2] referred to as the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency Act.

(5) For restitution to crime victims, costs, fines or bail judgments pursuant to an order entered by a court in a criminal proceeding.

If the information that I provided was helpful, please remember to ACCEPT my post as that is the only way I will receive credit and compensation for my answer. However, please understand that my answer is meant for informational purposes only and is limited by the facts presented. Therefore, it should not be construed as “legal advice” and is not an adequate substitute for the retention of legal counsel. Thank you and good luck!

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