Garnishment: Can my employer dock my wages to pay my debts?

On Behalf of | Jun 4, 2020 | debt relief |

If you are one of the many who are struggling financially at the moment, you will be counting on receiving every cent of your paycheck. If you have debts to pay, you may want to delay some payments, or move your money around, to reduce the interest. If someone can take your money from your wages, before you get it, that will foil your plans.

Wage garnishment is the legal term for when your employer deducts part of your wages and gives them to the person or entity that you owe money to. They can generally only do so when instructed by a court. You need to be notified about it too.

If you owe child support, taxes or student loans, no court order is needed, these authorities can automatically deduct money from your wages.

How much of my wages can someone garnish?

  • Creditors: Up to 25%, if your wage is more than 250% of the federal poverty level, up to 10%, if your wage is less.
  • Child support payments: Up to 50 or 60% of your wage can be deducted, depending on your circumstances.
  • Student loan payments: Up to 15% of your wage is you are not up to date with your payments.
  • Unpaid taxes: The IRS calculates this on a personal basis.

If you are worried about wage garnishment in New Jersey, seek legal advice. There can be ways to stop it or ways to negotiate an option that will not leave you heading into even more debt.