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Questions about Wage Garnishment Laws

Wage garnishment can have a devastating affect on a person’s paycheck. Dealing with the legal aspects of wage garnishment can be confusing to people who have never had to participate in garnishment. When you need expert legal help, the Employment Lawyers on JustAnswer can assist you by providing answers for any legal questions related to wage garnishment and wage garnishment laws. Take a look at the top five wage garnishment questions that have been answered by the Experts.

How is wage garnishment calculated?

Usually, for ordinary garnishments (i.e., those not for support, bankruptcy, or any state or federal tax) the weekly amount taken cannot exceed 25 percent of the employee’s disposable earnings or the amount in which an employee’s disposable earnings are greater than 30 times the federal minimum wage. The law sets a maximum amount to be garnished in any pay period or workweek, regardless of the number of garnishment orders received by an employer.

How does a person find out if their wages will be garnished?

Your wages cannot be garnished until there is a judgment. In order for a creditor to obtain a judgment, they must serve you with a summons and complaint. This will notify you that there is a pending judgment against you and will allow you time to prepare and defend your rights. You will also be notified when a judgment has been passed. If a creditor obtains a judgment against you, they will then be allowed to garnish your wages.

Can a company withhold an entire paycheck of an independent contractor as garnishment for repayment of a loan?

Because you are an independent contractor, this would be a matter of what’s specified in the contract. This would be more of a withholding of pay issue and not really a wage garnishment issue. If there is nothing written in your contract that provides for this type of withholding, then the company could be in breach of contract. You could then file a suit for breach of contract. The company would have to prove the terms of the loans and if there is nothing in writing, they would be unable to collect.

Can a wage garnishment be stopped after it has started and if yes, then how?

It is a very difficult but possible to stop a wage garnishment once the creditor has received a writ of garnishment from the court. Your employer has no choice but to allow the garnishment once the writ of garnishment has been issued. However, you could go to the court that ordered the garnishment and file a “claim of exception”. In order to gain a claim of exception, you will need to show that the garnishment hinders you from meeting your daily needs. Another option would be to file for bankruptcy to free you from the creditor obligation. However, bankruptcy would be a last resort option to resolve your financial predicament.

What can a person do if they have overpaid on a wage garnishment and have not been reimbursed?

If you have overpaid on a garnishment, you would need to send a written letter to your employer demanding the money to be returned to you. If your money isn’t refunded, you can contact the US Labor Dept/Wage Div. You can make your report over the phone and request an investigation. You should also notify your employer that you will file the complaint to receive your money.

Regardless of the situation, if you are having issues with wage garnishment and need experienced assistance in wage garnishment law, you can take your questions to Employment Lawyers on JustAnswer. The Experts can answer any wage garnishment question in an efficient and knowledgeable manner.
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