A wage garnishment occurs when a creditor obtains permission to deduct money owed from a person’s pay check or bank account. Up to 25 percent of a person’s pay can be deducted from each paycheck until the debt is repaid.

When Is a Creditor Allowed to Garnish My Wages?

A party is entitled to legally garnish wages only when a garnishee, person owning the debt, actually owes money to a creditor. A creditor is also allowed to deduct money from a paycheck or bank account when the garnishee owns a beneficial interest in the property being garnished. When neither of the circumstance occur, it may be considered a wrongful wage garnishment.

What is a Wrongful Wage Garnishment?

A wrongful wage garnishment refers to tortuously using or improperly obtaining garnishing wages.

Does the Wage Garnishment Have to Be Done with Malice?

No. A wrongful garnishment can be done without malice, or intent, to deduct wages. The party could have had probable cause to believe the garnishment was legal and correct.

Can I Stop a Wage Garnishment by Telling My Employer it’s a Wrongful Garnishment?

No. Stopping wage garnishment depends on the type of debt and state law. Typically, the worker must request a hearing in court to object to the garnishment. Another option is to file bankruptcy.

Should I Talk to a Lawyer about Stopping My Wrongful Wage Garnishment?

Yes. Working with a lawyer is a great way to determine if your wages were mistakenly garnished. Your lawyer can determine the procedural or legal error that was the cause for the wrongful garnishment and help you go through the court process to correct the problem.