- March 1, 2016
- By: Greenpath Financial Wellness
What is Wage Garnishment?
If you leave a debt unpaid and ignored, the courts may require your employer to “garnish” or withhold a portion of your wages to pay back the debt. The employer withholds some of the employee’s paycheck and sends those funds to the creditor. Wage Garnishment is a legal remedy generally considered a collection tool of last resort.
How much of your wages can a court garnish? It depends on the type of debt. Usually, they can’t withhold more than 25 percent of your disposable earnings. That’s the amount left after the necessary deductions are made for federal, state and local taxes. But sometimes employers are allowed to take more, usually in cases of child support, bankruptcy or unpaid taxes.
Your employer can’t fire you just because a court orders them to garnish your wages. At least not one single court order. The Consumer Credit Protection Act doesn’t prevent an employer from firing an employee after multiple garnishments are ordered against you. If you believe you’ve been fired unfairly because of wage garnishment issues, contact the Department of Labor. They may be able to save your job. And they may punish employers who knowingly violate the law.
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