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Q:
Can they garnish 25 percent per pay period to repay debt?

I just received notice from my payroll department that 25 percent of my disposable income will be garnished starting next month. I filled out interrogatories but received the news from my employer and was never mailed anything to my home or served so I had time to reply through the courts. It that legal? Also I am a single parent head of household. Can they garnish 25 percent per pay period to repay this debt? I will be living at poverty level. How can I contest this? -Karen

Karen,

In most states, before a creditor can garnish a debtor’s wages, the creditor must get court approval. Please check with the court to determine the outcome of any actions taken related to your debt.

It might also be worth your time to consult with an attorney about your rights. If you cannot afford a private attorney, you can contact your local legal aid office. 

If the garnishment is legal, the federal Consumer Credit Protection Act (CCPA) permits a creditor to garnish up to 25 percent of an employee’s net earnings. The provisions of the CCPA are administered and enforced by the Department of Labor, Employment Standards Administration, Washington, DC. If you would like further clarification of this law and possibly contest this garnishment, you can contact them at 866-4USWAGE or visit the Department of Labor's website and information about wage garnishment.

Good luck,

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