A wage garnishment is levied against a person’s wages for a debt they owe a creditor. The debt can be a child support wage assignment, defaulted student loan, or unpaid credit card. The money is deducted from the person’s pay. The individual, or garnishee, never sees the money because it’s taken from the check prior to receiving it.

Can All My Income Be Garnished?

No. California does has garnishment exemptions such as:

  • Public benefits
  • Pensions
  • Insurance benefits

Typically, the only things not exempted in California is income.

How Much Money Can My Creditor Deduct from My Pay?

California adopted federal law regarding the amount of money that can be garnished from wages. A garnishee can have 25 percent of wages deducted or 30 times the amount of minimum wage. The latter is only enforced if the garnishee’s weekly income exceeds that amount. The state does allow a larger amount to be garnished for child support.

Does California have a Statute of Limitations Regarding Wage Garnishments?

Yes. The statute limitations in the state depends on the debt, cause of action and time period of starting the lawsuit. In general, the limitation to garish wages in the state is 10 years.

What Does a Creditor Need to Start Garnishment Proceedings?

A writ of garnishment is needed to start garnishment proceedings for a judgment.

Can I Challenge the Garnishment?

Yes, a garnishee can challenge the garnishment. However, they are limited. For example, the garnishee can attack the initial lawsuit which caused the judgment or show the disposable income amount is incorrect.

Do I Need an Attorney for a Wage Garnishment?

It’s in your best interest to contact an attorney about a wage garnishment. A lawyer will determine the best course of action to take to eliminate the garnishment.