Wage Garnishment: Facts & Fiction


If you're facing wage garnishment you may be unclear about the process. It's important to find out exactly how the wage garnishment procedure works so that you can make plans to repay your debt as quickly as possible and stop wage garnishments. To do this, you'll need to clear up a few wage garnishment myths:

stop wage garnishments

1. My employer has to ask my permission before garnishing my wages.

This is untrue. Once your employer receives a notice that your wages are subject to garnishment, he or she is legally obligated to comply immediately. Your boss does not have to inform you of the garnishment.

2. I won't receive any notice before my wages are garnished.

Legally, the government is not required to inform you of an upcoming garnishment. However, individuals generally receive several notices before collection action is taken.

3. I can't stop wage garnishment from happening once I get a final notice.

A final notice is issued after several previous notices have been disregarded. After you receive a final notice you'll have 30 days to either request a hearing or establishing an arrangement for repayment. If you do not take these steps within the 30 days your wages will be garnished.

4. The government has to leave me enough money to cover my expenses.

The government does not have to consider your other financial expenses during the garnishment process. Legally, you can be left with less than $200 on each check if you're single and less than $300 if you're married.

5. If my wages are garnished, my employer can fire me.

Your employer cannot fire you for one wage garnishment levy. However, if you have two garnishments your employer can legally terminate your employment. This also applies if you have more than one debt that is being repaid through garnishment at the same time.

6. Child support and back taxes are the only debts that can be collected through garnishment.

While taxes and child support are the most common debts that are collected by wage garnishment other debts can also be repaid through this procedure. Student loans, past due court fines and civil monetary judgments can all be collected in this manner.

7. The government can only garnish my wages for one debt.

This is an important myth to clear up, since you can be fired for more than one wage garnishment as mentioned above. If you have multiple past due debts the government can garnish your wages for all of them at the same time.

Wage garnishment poses real financial risks to employed individuals. Understanding the truth about some common wage garnishment myths and consulting a tax resolution specialist can help you decide how to resolve your past debts quickly.

*Image courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net

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