What is a Wage Garnishment and What Can Be Done About It?


If you owe creditors money for loans, you might be wondering how you can relieve yourself of debt. Sometimes, that decision is not entirely up to you. If a court order creates a wage garnishment against you, money will be taken directly out of your paychecks and placed into the accounts of the people you owe until your debt is paid off. This treatment is often regarded as harsh or excessive, and some people see it as legal extortion.

The good news is that there are limits to how much can be taken out of your wages. In most cases, 25% of your disposable earnings – what remains after mandatory reductions – can be garnished at maximum. This even applies if you owe multiple creditors money. The bad news is that not everyone needs to go to court and sue you for a court order to start taking portions of your weekly salary. If you owe child support, backed taxes, or student loans – these are three of the most common forms of debt – the parties you owe can start garnishing your wages without a court approval. You will have to be notified beforehand, however.

Are Wage Garnishments Effective, or Even Fair?

A major issue that can arise with wage garnishment cases is revolving or continual debt. Some people have their wages garnished by creditors every week but, by the end of the year, the interest on their debt has already escalated their total amount owed to another unmanageable number. If this cycle is allowed to continue, they find themselves trapped in a system that takes money from them for the rest of their foreseeable future.

There are actually a few methods you can use to challenge the seemingly one-sided nature of wage garnishments. One of the most effective tools is actually filing for bankruptcy, either Chapter 7 or Chapter 13. While this idea might seem intimidating to most people, it can actually be largely beneficial for you by putting an automatic stay – or cease – to creditor collections, including wage garnishments. Bankruptcy does not also guarantee that you will lose your home or that your credit score will be rendered unrecoverable.

In order to ensure that you are not rushing into any serious decisions about your financial state, you will want to retain the services of a Boca Raton bankruptcy attorney from the Law Offices of David Kovari, P.A. Our firm has nearly 20 years of experience helping the families of South Florida get through difficult times with as little stress as possible. It has always been our goal to make people’s lives easier in any way we can, so we encourage our clients to start out with a free case evaluation with our team. Contact us today to learn your legal options with professionals who genuinely care about your future.