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What is Wage Garnishment?

Wage garnishment is a legal procedure that requires an employer to withhold a portion of an employee’s wages as payment for an outstanding debt.

 While a court order is typically used to start the process, it may not be necessary in some cases. As an example:

When it comes to federal student loans, the loan holder has the authority to order an employer to garnish an employee’s wages without going to court.

Child support agencies in many states can garnish an employee’s wages without a court order.

How can I Stop a Wage Garnishment Immediately?

You have four options for stopping a wage garnishment immediately:

  1. Try to work out a payment plan or settle your debt with your creditor(s).
  2. File a legal challenge to the wage garnishment.
  3. File for bankruptcy as soon as possible to stop the garnishment. 
  4. Contact a non-profit organization and request financial assistance.

Garnishing your wages reduces your disposable income and can be extremely stressful.

 But keep in mind that you have rights and that there are ways to stop the garnishment.

How to Stop Wage Garnishment?

A garnishment can end in a variety of ways.

The garnishment order may include an expiration date. Make sure you carefully read the order and finish on time, even if the entire debt hasn’t been paid.

Alternatively, the agency that issued the order will send you a “Notice of Termination of Wage Garnishment Order.” This notice will notify you when the garnishment should be stopped.

Who can Garnish Wages Without Notice?

In general, any creditor has the right to garnish your wages. However, some creditors must first meet additional requirements. Before garnishing wages, most employers must file a lawsuit, obtain a money judgment, and obtain a court order.

Some creditors have the right to take your wages without notice.

  • Federally guaranteed student loan debt collectors
  • People and organizations to you owe alimony or child support to
  • Agencies that collect back taxes from you.

While these organizations are not required to obtain a judgment against you, they must give you some sort of notice and give you a chance to object before garnishing your wages.

Also, See: State Income Tax

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