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The limits of wage garnishment

When a person is struggling or refusing to pay back certain debts that are owed, it may result in wage garnishment taking place. This is usually a last resort for debt collection efforts, and it typically requires the ruling of a judge in order for it to be possible.

Wage garnishment means that a certain amount will be deducted from your wage before you receive it. Statistics show that wage garnishment in the U.S. is relatively common, with a reported 7.2 percent of employees being subject to some form of wage garnishment.

What are the limits of wage garnishment?

For wage garnishment to take place, the court must issue a Writ of Garnishment. This means that the person in question has forfeited one's assets in the form of future wages, so he or she no longer legally owns them. This lowers one's disposable income.

In order for the person who is subject to wage garnishment to still have a quality of life and be able to afford to live, the amount that can be garnished from a person's salary is limited to 25 percent of one's disposable earnings.

Employees' jobs are protected if they are having their wages garnished due to one debt that they hold. However, their job security is no longer protected if their wages are being garnished because of more than one debt.

If you are concerned about wage garnishment and want to know more about your rights as an employee, you should research the unique rules when it comes to child support, alimony and federal tax debt.

Source: Debt.org, "Garnishment Process," accessed Dec. 15, 2017

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