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How Can I Fight Wage Garnishment?

Wage garnishment in New York is a familiar subject to most employers’ payroll departments. This is because creditors in the recession have won record numbers of court orders to garnish wages. Often, the working person with debts will only learn of their garnishment when a smaller amount appears on their bank deposit records, because a chunk of their paycheck is deducted to pay back to the creditor.

For people on all rungs of the economic ladder, wage garnishment in NY can be a devastating event. Depending on the amount owed and how the court determined the garnishment would work, up to 25 percent of disposable earnings can be diverted from the worker’s paycheck.

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, some variation on wage garnishment rules can affect how much is garnished:

  • The employee with one garnishment is protected from an employer discharge. However, two or more garnishments can be grounds for firing.
  • “Disposable earnings” are post-federal, state and local taxes. Voluntary deductions including health and life insurance, union dues and retirement plan contributions do not reduce the portion of pay subject to a 25 percent garnishment.
  • Child support and alimony garnishments can be up to 50 percent of disposable earnings.
  • Federal agencies can only garnish 15 percent of wages, and repayment on defaulted federal student loans can be done with only a 10 percent (maximum) garnishment of disposable earnings.

Some wage garnishments can be determined to be excessive, or they may not respect the court ruling on a bankruptcy. Sometimes, the debt is already paid or the garnishment is a mistake altogether. To fight a wage garnishment, before or after a judgment, contact the Law Office of Gregory Messer in Brooklyn for more information.

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