One option for individuals or creditors seeking to collect a debt is wage garnishment. A wage garnishment is a court order for a third party to deduct money from the debtor’s pay. The third party collecting the debt is usually an employer. However, banks can collect the money on the creditor’s behalf too. The money is deducted until the debt is satisfied. In Florida, there are specific rules a creditor must follow to garnish wages.

What is Florida’s Statute of Limitations on Wage Garnishments?

A creditor must sue the debtor to garnish wages within a certain period, called the statute of limitations. This period includes:

  • Four years for open accounts such as credit cards
  • Five years for written contracts
  • A creditor only has 20 years from the date of the judgment to garnish wages. 

How Much Money Can a Creditor Take From My Check?

Florida follows federal laws regarding the maximum threshold amount a creditor can deduct from a paycheck. It’s 25 percent of disposable income. Disposable income is what is legally left from a paycheck after all deductions are made. These deductions typically include state, local, and federal taxes.

If the debtor is paid weekly, the amount deducted may exceed 30 times the amount of minimum wage.

Do Other Deductions Count?

No. Florida doesn’t consider important things like rent, utilities, child support, or medical care.

Is There Income Creditors Can’t Touch?

Yes. Florida forbids creditors to garnish wages such as:

  • Social security
  • Pensions
  • Public benefits
  • Annuities
  • Insurance

What If I am the Head of Household, Can My Pay be Garnished?

No. The state doesn’t allow the income of the head of household to be garnished.

Do I Need the Assistance of a Lawyer?

One of the best ways to stop wage garnishment is to contact a lawyer. The lawyer will advise you of your rights.