How Can I File a Claim of Exemption for Wage Garnishment in California?

File a claim of exemption for wage garnishment in California by filling out a financial statement, or Form WG-007, and a claim of exemption, or Form WG-006, says the Judicial Council of California. Instructions are outlined in Form WG-003.

Immediately after receiving notice of a wage garnishment, a financial statement and an exemption claim should be filed with the levying officer, who is the process server or law enforcement officer issuing the earnings withholding order, explains the Judicial Council of California. Use the financial statement to demonstrate wages are necessary for basic support. On the exemption claim, a specific daily amount can be offered to creditors. Deliver the original documents plus one copy to the levying officer. Creditors have 10 days after delivery to oppose or accept a claim of exemption. If they accept, withholding is stopped or reduced. If they oppose, a court date is set for a hearing.

If a creditor opposes a claim, this results in a Notice of Hearing on Claim of Exemption, or Form WG-010, and a Notice of Opposition to Claim of Exemption, or Form WG-009, according to the Judicial Council of California. A hearing date is set and a judge makes a final decision. Debtors are not required to appear at the hearing, but if they choose to be present, they should offer evidence to the judge that proves a need for the wages.