There are a few ways for a creditor to seek repayment from a debtor but the most common is wage garnishment. A creditor may seek garnishment of a debtor’s earnings if they have failed to pay back their debt.

A creditor is not able to garnish the wages of a debtor without a court order that determines that the creditor has a claim against the debtor. Once that is concluded, the court will give the creditor an order to garnish the debtor’s money. When the wages are being garnished, they are never in the control of the debtor. Rather the employer serves as a “garnishee,” and turns over the garnished wages directly to the creditor. More than just the wages of the debtor can be garnished. Other income such as pension plans can be garnished but not if they fall under the exempt category. Certain exemptions exist to prevent creditors from garnishing things like social security, public benefits or retirement funds. In addition, only a certain percent of your wages can be garnished to insure that the debtor does not lose all their income. If you believe that your wages are being unfairly garnished or you are being wrongfully garnished, contact and attorney to determine what you need to do to prevent further garnishment and potentially receive repayment of the wages that you lost.

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