The Georgia wage garnishment law limits the amount of money your employer can withhold from your paycheck to pay your creditors and how they can withhold it. Learn more in this comprehensive overview.
The Basics of the Georgia Wage Garnishment Law
A wage garnishment is often called a wage attachment, and it is an order that requires your employer to withhold a part of your salary and send it directly to your creditors. The creditors must get a money judgment from a court before garnishing your wages most of the time. For instance, if you’re behind on your credit card, the creditors can’t garnish your wages unless they sue you and get a judgment. It is essential to know that creditors can’t seize all the money from your paycheck. The federal law sets limits on how much money they can take. The garnishment amount the creditors can take is 25% of your disposable earnings for a week or the amount by which your disposable earnings for that week exceed 30 times the federal minimum hourly wage, whichever is less. On the other hand, if a debtor is not an employee subjected to the state income tax withholding and federal law, the employer might be considered to have no knowledge or any obligation of the debtor’s disposable earnings.
Georgia Wage Garnishment Statute
In most parts, Georgia garnishment laws follow federal laws. Georgia’s existing garnishment code was signed into law Senate Bill 443 (SB443) by Governor Brian Kemp on August 5, 2020. The modifications took place starting January 1, 2021. The length of the garnishment period for a continuing garnishment has been extended from six months (179 days) to three years (1095 days). The employer’s obligation to take any garnishment action might end earlier if the debt is paid in full or if the employment payment obligation terminates. Then again, continuing garnishments can put employers at risk. Failure to respond timely can result in a default judgment, leaving the employer on the hook for the entire debt. The Cherney Law Firm can assist and offer legal advice for all the steps of the garnishment process. Contact us at (770) 485-4141 today, and learn more about garnishment laws! Call us and request a consultation, or browse our website and explore our services and reputation. Note that the consultation is free, and you will better understand your exact position and what steps to take in the near future.
Limits on Wage Garnishment in Georgia
In the state of Georgia, there are limits for unpaid child support, federal student loans, or unpaid taxes. If you own one of these, the creditor or the government can garnish your wages without needing a court judgment. All states are asked to use the ‘Order/Notice to Withhold Income For Child Support’ notice for child support garnishments. Up to 50% of your disposable earnings can be garnished for child support if supporting a spouse or a child, and up to 60% if you’re not supporting a child who isn’t subject to the order. When it comes to federal student loans, up to 15% of your pay can be garnished if you are in default on federal student loans.
How to Check Wage Garnishment Balance
To check your wage garnishment balance, you need to contact the creditor or your wage garnishment attorney, as they are responsible for keeping track of the payments made towards your debt. Both the creditor and the attorney have the legal obligation of informing you when the debt is paid in full so you can be released of the wage garnishments.
Wage Garnishment Calculator
Let us start with an example. If you make $500 per week after all the taxes and other deductions, then 25% of your disposable income is $125. The amount by which your disposable earnings exceed 30 times $7.25 is $282.50.
What Is Disposable Income for Wage Garnishment?
The disposable income is the remaining amount of money left after the necessary deductions, such as Social Security or taxes. There are rules when it comes to wage garnishment:
- The 25 rule, which means that the wage garnishment order can not take more than 25% of your disposable income;
- The 30 rule implies that the wage garnishment order can take over 30 times the federal minimum wage.
How to Fight a Wage Garnishment
There are some things you can do to avoid wage garnishment if you so desire. As mentioned above, for creditors to garnish your income, they must win a lawsuit. Contact a bankruptcy or wage garnishment attorney who can make recommendations on avoiding a garnishment. The attorney will take all legal steps possible in helping you fight a wage garnishment.
Stopping Wage Garnishment in Georgia
For you to stop wage garnishment in Georgia, you can follow these steps:
- Respond to your creditor letter;
- Seek Georgia remedies;
- Get debt counseling;
- Object the garnishment;
- Attend the objection hearing if necessary;
- Challenge the underlying judgment;
- Continue your negotiations.
Can You Stop a Wage Garnishment?
Stopping a wage garnishment may seem like a complicated process, but having the right help on your side can change the course of any garnishment actions taken against you. At Cherney Law Firm, we are dedicated to guiding our clients through their legal options and helping them navigate the process of wage garnishment. Schedule a free consultation today, and let us get your life back in order.
How to File a Claim of Exemption Wage Garnishment
If your creditor wants to garnish some of your wages or seize some of your property, you must file a claim of exemption. Firstly, you must complete and send a copy of your claim of exemption to the judgment creditor, except for the judgment creditor to challenge your claim. On the other hand, if the creditor abandons the attachment, the withheld wages or properties will be returned to you.
How to File an Exemption for Wage Garnishment
To file an exemption for wage garnishment, you must file the Claim of Exemption (WG-006). By doing this, you will explain to the Sheriff why some or all of the wages the creditor wants your employer to garnish should be exempt. Wage garnishment and bankruptcy are not for everyone to handle. With offices in Marietta, Woodstock, and Alpharetta, our law firm can help you deal with wage garnishment problems and focus on rebuilding your life. Contact us at (770) 485-4141 without hesitation, and let us fight for your rights! In our free consultation, you will better understand the status of your situation, and learn precisely the appropriate steps that you need to take. It’s time to take action!