A wage garnishment is a court-ordered way to collect money owed to a defendant, also called a garnishee. The debt collected is usually for unsecured debt like credit cards, child support, criminal fines, and unpaid taxes. The money is collected using a third party such as the garnishee’s employer. Michigan has specific laws regarding garnishing wages.

Is All of My Income Subjected to a Garnishment?

No, not all income can be garnished. Creditors are prohibited from garnishing:

  • Some types of government benefits
  • Some insurance proceeds
  • Non-salary, non-wage sources of income
  • Pensions and retirement benefits
  • Annuities

How Much Money Can My Creditor Take from My Pay?

Michigan law follows federal law when determining how much money can be garnished. According to the law, it may be the lesser of the following:

  • The amount over the person’s weekly income exceeding 30 times Michigan’s minimum wage
  • 25 percent of disposal income made

What is Disposable Income?

Disposable include usually means money left over after a person’s expenses are paid. However, garnishment disposable income is different. Garnishment disposable income include payroll deductions and not household necessities like food, rent and transportation. This means more than 90 percent of an individual’s income can be considered disposable.

Does My State have a Statute of Limitation Regarding Wage Garnishment?

Yes. Michigan wage garnishment law gives a creditor about 10 years to obtain a garnishment. The state also limits the amount of time a creditor can seek a wage garnishment to 6 years for an open account, written contract, or oral contract.

Can a Creditor Garnish My Wages for a Judgment More than 10 Years Old?

Yes. In some cases, a creditor may have a right to garnish wages for a judgment more than 10 years old. This can occur when the creditor continuously renews or extends the judgment beyond the 10-year period.

Do I Need a Lawyer to Fight a Wage Garnishment in Michigan?

Yes. A creditor must obtain a writ of garnishment prior to obtaining money. Contact a lawyer to determine all your legal options to stop the wage garnishment.