When the defendant is ordered to have money deducted from their paychecks to satisfy a judgment, this is known as a wage execution. It’s also known as a “wage attachment” or a “wage garnishment.”
Sometimes the court orders the defendant to pay certain costs rather than serving a jail sentence as part of a criminal sentence. Defendants who must pay are typically handed wage executions when they owe:
Wage executions function by sending a notification to the defendant’s employer asking them to withhold a specific sum from the defendant’s salary. The employer will then pay the sum of money to a state agency, which will subsequently apply it to the debt owed by the defendant.
Typically, a state statute or the rules of the court will specify the maximum amount that may be removed from the defendant’s income. In general, a wage execution can only be used to deduct up to 25% of the person’s weekly disposable income. Wage executions resemble wage garnishment in a civil action extremely closely.
Can an Execution of Wages be Contested?
The defendant can typically ask for a hearing to contest the wage execution; thus, the answer is yes. This can be done in exchange for a wage deduction or the complete order being lifted. The defendant is most likely to succeed, nevertheless, if there was a mistake in the judgment or if they have a strong argument against the wage execution. If the defendant just refuses to pay, it will be impossible to contest the attachment.
Consequently, the defendant must provide a written explanation of their disagreement and the justifications for the withdrawal or decrease of the payments in order to contest a wage execution. After then, the court will examine the defendant’s history to decide whether a modification is appropriate.
What Happens If the Employer Doesn’t Follow the Rules for Wage Execution?
The defendant’s employer actually has a significant impact on a wage execution. They are in charge of handing over the defendant’s salary to the proper authorities. The employer will receive notification that the defendant has a wage execution brought against them. The employer must adhere to the wage execution requirements or face legal repercussions (such as criminal fines or a contempt order).
The following are a few requirements for employers.
The employee (defendant) must be informed that a portion of their pay will be withheld to cover the judgment payments.
Because they have a wage execution pending against them, the employer is not permitted to discipline, fire, or otherwise penalize an employer.
The amount specified in the wage execution documents must be used as the employer’s maximum deduction.
Therefore, the employer will probably need to take action to make up for the employee’s losses if the employee is fired as a result of a wage execution. This may entail restoring them to their prior position and paying them back for any lost salary incurred while they were unemployed.
On the other hand, some state laws permit an employer to discipline a worker who has experienced a specific number of wage executions within a specific time frame (for example, after seven wage executions in one year). The employer must take care to comply with local wage execution rules because these can differ by region.
How to Prevent Wage Garnishment
Although you have some rights during the wage garnishment procedure, it is often your obligation to know about and make use of these rights.
You must get a formal notice of the garnishment.
If the notice contains incorrect information or you feel you do not owe the bill, you may challenge it.
Some types of income, like Social Security and veterans’ benefits, are not considered income and are not subject to garnishment. However, if they are in your bank account, they can be liable for seizure.
If you have one wage garnishment, you cannot be fired; however, you will no longer be protected if you have more than one.
You can contest the garnishment if you think the judgment was rendered incorrectly or if you think it is adversely affecting your finances.
How to Proceed After Receiving a Garnishment Ruling
Read the ruling carefully first to ensure that all of the details are correct. Verify that the debt is actually yours and that it is not something you have already paid. If so, think about the amount that will be taken and the impact it will have on your finances.
Next, decide what to do. To decide what’s best for you, you might speak with a consumer law attorney or a local legal aid organization if you haven’t done so before. Basically, you have three choices:
Come to a Different Agreement
Put your creditors in touch. A lot of people undervalue the impact of a discussion. Look at your finances, calculate your debt and your monthly income, and then call your creditors to arrange a payment schedule. Consumers and creditors both possess this capability.
Contest the Decision
You can challenge the garnishment in court if you think it was made in error, will hurt you unfairly, or is being carried out incorrectly. You will need to move rapidly. You might only have five business days to appeal the decision.
Take the Garnishment as-is
The garnishment can be satisfied in full or in the installments specified in the judgment. The burden of a protracted sequence of payments may be quickly relieved if you borrow money from family or obtain a personal loan to pay off the judgment, which is still doable despite the garnishment on your credit record.
Although it may be humiliating for you, it’s important to be open and honest with your manager or the human resources division.
Being subject to wage garnishment can be stressful for the workplace, so communicate with your employer as soon as possible.
Talk to someone about what’s going on and how you don’t want it to become an issue.
What to Do if a Financial Burden Results from Wage Garnishment
Consult the free services of a nonprofit credit counselor to talk about your debt-relief choices, such as a repayment plan or bankruptcy if you don’t see a way out of wage garnishment.
A garnishment judgment will impact your credit score for a period of up to seven years. But both before and after income garnishment, there are a few simple ways to improve your credit.
Creating and following a budget will help you remain on top of your expenses and prevent further garnishments. From there, you can obtain items like a secured credit card to start the process of rebuilding your credit.
Do I Require Legal Assistance for a Wage Execution?
Wage executions might be difficult for the defendant’s employer as well. Contact a criminal attorney in your area if you need help with a wage execution. Anyone facing a wage execution can be represented by and receive legal advice from a knowledgeable attorney. An employer who needs to manage the deductions can benefit greatly from the services of an attorney.
Your credit score and financial future are at risk. Contact an attorney today for more assistance.