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The Legal Procedure of Wage Garnishment

A legal procedure, in which some portion of a person's earning is required to be withheld by an employee for the payment of the debt, is called as wage garnishment. Most of these garnishments are made by court orders. There are some other legal procedures also which include IRS levies or state tax collection agency levies. They levy for the taxes, which are unpaid.

There are assignments in which the employees voluntarily agree that their employers will deposit a particular specified amount of their earnings to their creditor. But in the case of wage garnishment this voluntary assignment does not work.Title III of Consumer Credit Protection Act says that person has his pay garnished for only one debt then the Act limits the amount of that employee's earning that may be garnished. It even protects the employee from being fired also.

If any garnished controversy in wage garnishment is arises, then the query solution part has to be taken directly to the court or the agency initiating that withholds the action. In the case of wage garnishment, Wage and the House Division, which administers the Title III Act cannot do anything.The Garnishment law protects everyone from receiving their personal earnings like pensions, salaries, commissions, wages, bonus, etc. this law implies in all the 50 states. Wage garnishment is not prohibited if an employee's earnings are garnished for or more debts.

There are some restrictions also on wage garnishment. The amount of pay subject to wage garnishment is based on the employee's disposable earnings which includes federal state and local taxes and the share of employee in State unemployment Insurance and social security. These disposable earnings for wage garnishment under the CCPA many deductions are not made from the employees gross earnings such as voluntary wage assignments, union dues, health and life insurance, savings bonds purchased, payments made for payroll advances, contributions to charitable causes. Only the retirement plan contributions are deducted and that too only those which are required by the law.For wage garnishment, the garnishment law sets the maximum amount that can be garnished from a person in a particular pay period. During the fixing of the amount, the law does not consider the member of garnishment orders received by the employer.

In case of ordinary wage garnishment, which does not include bankruptcy etc., the amount of garnishment in a week may not exceed the lesser of the two figures. The garnishment amount maybe 25% of the disposable earning of the employee or the amount by which his disposable earnings are greater than 30 times the federal minimum wages. Of the pay period is weekly and the disposable earnings are lesser than the amount calculated through the federal minimum wage, then the garnishment cannot be done. A maximum of 25% can be garnished.

The law for wage garnishment specifies that the restriction on garnishment does not apply to certain cases where the bankruptcy court order is issued or there are outstanding debts for the federal or state taxes.Wage garnishment is the last option that an employer goes for. When all the other options for settling the due debts exhaust, then the employer opts for wage garnishment. Most of the wage garnishment requires a court order and even in that they are required to notify the worker 20 days before the garnishment goes into the effect.If someone ignores the IRS, then wages are the first place that goes in for garnishment. It is not only the IRS but also the state government; private creditors or even an ex-spouse seeking alimony can go in for garnishment.

The government creditors can garnish more than the paychecks. But the Title III of the Credit Consumer Protection Act limits the amount of wage garnishment from the worker's paycheck. This facility leaves an employee with some income and at the same time creditor also get paid up regularly also prevents the creditor to speed up the recovery procedure.

.Henry Byers, Retired IRS Manager and IRS Levy expert - focusing on IRS Garnishment and State Garnishment.

By: Henry Byers



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