What Are the Rules Regarding Wage Garnishment?


Quick Answer

Title III of the Consumer Credit Protection Act, or CCPA, protects an employee from termination for a wage garnishment order to repay one debt, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. The CCPA also limits the amount of earnings that can be garnished in one week.

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Full Answer

An employee is not protected from termination under federal law if garnishment is requested for more than one debt, states Nolo. State law may offer more protection to employees. Most creditors seeking wage garnishment for amounts owed must produce a court order to the local sheriff or marshal for delivery to the employer. If a person owes child support, back taxes or student loans, a court order is not needed.

The amount of a garnishment is limited in any workweek or pay period to 25 percent of disposable earnings or the amount disposable earnings exceed 30 times the federal minimum hourly wage, whichever is less, notes the U.S. Department of Labor. This limit is the same even if garnishments result from multiple creditors. The limits are higher for child support garnishments and can reach up to 65 percent of an employee's pay if payments are more than 12 weeks late. An employee can seek a hearing with the court to challenge a garnishment, explains Nolo.

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