What is wage garnishment?
If you owe money to a person or company that you have failed to repay or even begin
to repay, the creditor
(entity to whom you are indebted) can obtain a court order against you. This court document will order your current employer to take a specific amount of money out of each of your paychecks. This money will go directly to the creditor to whom you owe money.
How much of my paycheck can be garnished?
There are federal laws in place that limit the amount of money that can be garnished from anyone's paycheck so that the debtor can still manage their monthly expenses
. Generally, no more than 25% of your income (after deductions) can be garnished by any combination of creditors who may be seeking money from you.
Can I lose my job because of a wage garnishment?
If you have only one garnishment against your wages, your employer does not have the right to terminate your employment
, nor can they punish you or treat you any differently because of a wage garnishment.
wage garnishments filed against you will give your employer some rights to take action. For example, suppose your employer discovers that you are neck-deep in unpaid debt and your job duties include dealing with company finances. Your severely disordered finances at home send up a red flag, and many times employers do have rights against you when the garnishments keep rolling in.
What can I do to eliminate a wage garnishment?
If you feel that a wage garnishment has been filed against you erroneously, you can protest the garnishment at a court hearing. You may also have rights if you cannot manage your bills
with the wage garnishments set as they are.
Additionally, you can immediately eliminate any and all wage garnishments by simply paying off the debts in full. If you are starting a new job and don't want your new employer to know that you owe money to a creditor, your best bet is to try to work with your debt negotiation lawyer to lower the amount you owe so that you can pay it all off in one fell swoop.
Can I eliminate all wage garnishments?
While you can "cancel out" a wage garnishment for say, credit card debt, defaulted loans or medical debt, some garnishments are harder (and sometimes impossible) to remove. For legal reasons, if you owe child support
, your NJ county court will automatically set a wage garnishment action in place once your Final Judgement of Divorce has been entered. This guarantees that your children will always be cared for appropriately with no missed payments.
The same is true if you owe money to the federal or state government in the form of back taxes, or if you have delinquent student loans. In fact, wage garnishments for child support, taxes and student loans can even be initiated without
a court order.
If you are facing a wage garnishment in New Jersey that you feel is inaccurate or that is preventing you from meeting your other basic financial obligations, work with your NJ debt relief attorney
to either modify the wage garnishment order(s) or eliminate them if they are unlawful.