6 Things You Need to Know about Wage Garnishment in California

In California, the law allows for both the state and federal government to garnish your wages to some extent. If you are facing wage garnishment in California, you need to be aware of the laws. This information will help you make better decisions as you consider the future.

1. The law does not allow garnishments to take up more than 25 percent of your disposal income, generally.

Those who are allowed to ask for a garnishment of your wages do include judgment creditors, including department stores and credit card companies that have sued you in court. Student loans are allowed to take up to 15 percent of your net earnings. There are several other exceptions as well.

2. If you earn minimum wage (or close to it) California protects a higher percentage of your earnings.

In regard to the federal government and some other states, California offers more protection in terms of percentage an institution may take from your paycheck.

3. If you owe money to the IRS or for child support, California may allow for a higher percentage of your earnings to be taken.

In California, a child support judgment could take up to 60 percent of your disposable income. If you are behind in child support, the judge could choose to take just slightly more. If you owe money to the IRS, the maximum amount of money depends on your number of dependents.

4. Child support typically comes out of your paycheck through the employer.

In order for this to happen, the judgment may make its way to your place of work.

5. In order for a credit card company or medical office to garnish your wages, the company must first file a lawsuit and receive a judgment.

If a creditor sues you and obtains a judgment, some of your wages may be garnished. Creditors are allowed to take one-quarter of your disposable earnings. Garnishments are often approved if you have a delinquent balance and appear to be making no moves toward paying it off. If your wages will be garnished, you will receive a notice in the mail.

6. Wage garnishment ends when you pay off the intended garnishment amount.

The exception occurs if you have additional balance that accrues on this account. In this case, the court may issue another judgment for garnishment. You may be eligible to stop having your wages garnished if you file for bankruptcy, but not in every case.

Have more questions about wage garnishment? Speak with an attorney like Stuart J Sinsheimer for more information.