Personal Injury Attorney

Wage garnishment can happen as a result of a court order, in which your employer must retrieve a portion of your paycheck to pay creditors or another person that you owe money to. Wage garnishment may be required if you are overdue on paying child support, student loans, consumer debts, and more. You do have rights when it comes to how much can be taken from your earnings at one time. Those who have never had their wages garnished before, may be shocked to see a decent chunk of their paycheck has been withheld.

What are the different types of garnishment?

Wage garnishment is actually quite common. It is estimated that around hundreds of thousands of people per year may have their wages garnished for one reason or another. However, accessing an employee’s paycheck is not the only way that a creditor may force payments. The two types of garnishment are described as follows:

  1. Wage garnishment = creditors can require your employer to give up a part of your paycheck in order to pay off debts
  2. Non Wage garnishment = creditors can tap into your bank account to access funds, which may also be referred to as a bank levy

Does the person receive notice that their wages are going to be garnished?

It is standard protocol for the court to send a notice to the person and the employer or bank about the wage garnishment. The garnishment begins anywhere from 5-30 business days after the approval, and may continue until the debt is paid off.

Do the laws regarding wage garnishment vary by state?

Yes, each state has established laws about garnishment and can vary substantially. Your state may or may not have certain protections in place, which help safeguard your earnings. Some states may have exemptions, particularly for those who are head of household and have dependant children.

Is there anything someone can do about the wage garnishment?

You may have to do research on your own or meet with a legal professional about what laws pertain to your state, and how to exercise your rights. If you firmly believe that the wage or non wage garnishment is inaccurate, you can turn to a Milwaukee work injury lawyer for advice on how to fight the error. In some rare circumstances, a person may suffer undue harm to his or her finances because of the mistake. In general, here are examples of rights and actions that may apply to you:

  • You do have a right to be legally notified of the wages or non wages garnished.
  • You can submit a garnishment dispute if your notice has incorrect information, or you do not agree that you owe such a debt.
  • Those with social security and veterans benefits may be exempt from wage garnishment. But, it is still possible that your earnings be seized once deposited into your bank account.
  • You cannot be fired by your employer for having a single type of wage garnishment. However, you may not be as protected if you accumulate more than one.



Thank you to our friends and contributors at Hickey & Turim, SC for their insight into wage garnishment and workers comp.