A wage garnishment is a way to collect money owed to you by a debtor. If your debtor has a regular paying job, then you may be able to garnish up to 25% of his wages. Under wage garnishment, the employer of the debtor is informed about the wage garnishment and a certain portion of the debtor’s wages are withheld from each paycheck by the employer and handed over to the creditor.
How it Works
You have to sue the debtor (whose wage you want to garnish) in a civil court. If the judgment rules in your favor, then you simply give the sheriff or other local official (called the "levying officer") the details of the debtor and about his workplace. The levying officer will collect the money from the employer of the debtor and give it to you. This payment continues till the debt has been paid in full or you make alternate arrangements with the debtor for collecting the money owed to you.
Limitations to Wage Garnishment
IRS Wage Garnishment
The Internal Revenue Service can garnish your wages as a collection of debt owed to them if you are a defaulting taxpayer. The state and IRS often employ wage garnishments to collect taxes owed through your employer. An IRS wage garnishment necessitates a large percentage of the taxpayer's wages to be handed over directly to them. The wage garnishment continues until the tax arrears are cleared or until the IRS agrees to discharge the garnishment.
How much the IRS can collect through wage garnishment depends on the taxpayer’s marital status and number of dependents. But essentially this means most of your salary, with only about $116 per week being exempt. This amount is calculated as a sum of the standard deduction you can claim on your taxes and the amount you can claim for exemptions, divided by 52. Thus typically, a family of three people under an IRS wage garnishment will only be permitted an allowance of around $350 per week.
How to Stop Wage Garnishment
Wage garnishment can be a very trying time for a taxpayer, especially one who has a family and they depend on the paycheck for their survival. If you have a wage garnishment against you, you can take the following steps to avoid it.
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