Are there limits to how much of my wages can be garnished?
If you owe money to creditors, one option they have to get that debt repaid is through a process called wage garnishment. Creditors may pursue this option if you have not responded to other types of request for payment, though they will still need a court order to intercept money paid by your employer.
This can be a very serious situation and one that you may want to resolve with the help of an attorney. In many cases, the amount of wages that are garnished can be enough to put considerable strain on your life and the financial support you provide for your family. However, it is important to understand that there are state and federal limits on wage garnishment. Knowing these limits can help you understand your situation and why you will want to know what options you have to stop or prevent wage garnishment.
Every state sets its own limits that dictate how much money can be taken from your income. The limit for wage garnishment in Georgia is set at either 25 percent of a person’s disposable weekly earnings or any income over $217.50 per week, which is 30 times the federal minimum wage, whichever of the two sums is less.
It is important to understand that these calculations are based on a person’s disposable earnings. This means that required deductions including taxes, Social Security and employee retirement withholdings will not be subject to garnishment.
Even though there are limits in place and garnishment should not make it impossible for a person to cover living expenses or cause extreme hardship, it can still be extremely upsetting to have that much money taken out of your employer-paid income.
Thankfully, there are ways to stop wage garnishment, including filing bankruptcy. Having your debts discharged or repaid through repayment plan can effectively stop creditors from taking money from your paycheck. However, while this can certainly be the right option for many people who are struggling with unpaid debt, it may not be the right solution in every case. In order to determine what option may be best for your individual situation, it can be a good idea to speak with an attorney.