Georgia garnishment exemptions limit the sources of income that creditors can take from to pay off a debt. Learn all about garnishment exemptions here.
Garnishment Exemptions in Georgia
If you owe taxes, federal student loans, or child support, a creditor or the government can garnish your wages without necessarily having to obtain wage garnishment orders from the courts. The garnishment amount is typically different depending on the state laws or federal laws applicable.
Since the garnishment process can be pretty complicated, it is critical to contact skilled bankruptcy lawyers to provide legal advice if you have been slapped with a garnishment action or need to fight continuing garnishment.
Contact the Cherney Law Firm today. We have skilled and experienced bankruptcy lawyers who have helped achieve favorable outcomes for many clients dealing with federal and state garnishment actions.
Our attorneys know about all the limitations on garnishments, what is permitted and what is not, and may help you reduce or stop garnishments altogether.
Georgia Garnishment Laws
Under Georgia garnishment laws, there are several limitations or exemptions to wage garnishment. You will usually be subject to garnishment and continuing garnishments for three classes of debt:
- Unpaid child support
- Federal student loans, and
- Unpaid taxes
Garnishment Limits for Unpaid Child Support
Since 1998, child support orders obtained from the courts have an automatic income withholding order. The order requires your employers to automatically withhold a certain amount from your wages if the other parent obtains a wage garnishment order if you have not paid child support.
Under federal law, the garnishee may be subject to wage garnishment of up to 50% of their disposable earnings for child support payments if they are currently supporting a child or spouse not part of the current court order.
As for a garnishee not supporting a child or spouse, you may be subject to garnishment of up to 60% of your wages. Under the federal code section 15 USC 1673, a defendant may lose up to 5% more if they are behind their payment by more than 12 weeks.
Limitations on Defaulted Federal Student Loans
If you default on federal student loans, the American Department of Education can take garnishment action and claim up to 15% of your pay. This is usually referred to as an administrative garnishment that your employer will have to deduct from your wages. It is important to note that you can keep up to 30 times the equivalent of the federal minimum wage that is not subject to garnishments.
Limitations on Unpaid Taxes Garnishments
If you have tax arrears, the federal government can garnish your wages without necessarily filing or obtaining a court judgment.
The weekly exempt amount is usually dependent on the total amount of deductions allowable for the garnishee in the year the levy is imposed and the aggregate of the taxpayer’s standard deduction.
The total is typically divided by the 52 weeks in a year. Suppose you fail to verify how many dependents or standard deductions you usually claim on tax returns. In that case, the IRS will base the amount from standard deductions for married persons filing separately.
Local and state governments will also garnish wages to collect local and owed state taxes.
If you find yourself a defendant in a garnishment action, it is critical to contact an attorney as soon as possible. As a garnishee, you have rights, and by consulting with a bankruptcy lawyer, you will get advice on what you are entitled to and the limitations on garnishments on your money.
Contact the Cherney Law Firm today, and we may help reduce your payment or even put a stop to it. We can also help you fight a default judgment you believe to be unfair by filing for any exemptions that may be applicable.
What Is Exempt From Garnishment?
The law has several statutes that protect certain types of property and income from garnishment by creditors. These will usually not be subject to any deductions intended to pay off debts, even if the court judgment says you owe one.
Wages earned from a person’s employment are generally the first to be claimed by creditors. Exemptions lower this percentage in some states if you have not paid child support or taxes. Federal law allows a particular portion of your wages to be exempt from garnishment.
In Georgia, periodic obligations or debts such as periodic alimony, child support, and monetary obligations owed to the federal government for taxes may not be garnished. Other periodic obligations such as periodic payments under a written contract may also be off-limits.
Independent contractors are usually not allowed to take deductions from workers’ wages to pay for debts they owe. The only exception is if the contractor has agreed to this in writing.
What Funds Are Exempt From Garnishment?
There are several types of funds that are exempt from garnishment, and these include:
- Retirement, disability, and Social Security benefits; The exception is if you owe federal tax debt, federal student loans, or child support.
- State welfare benefits, unemployment compensation, VA benefits, student loans, and child support receipt; The exception is if you owe child support or back taxes.
- Pensions are also not subject to deductions, even though it is always advisable not to deposit the money in a bank account.
If you are facing garnishments from creditor claims, it is critical to secure the services of an attorney. While you have to comply with court judgments, securing the services of an attorney is always a wise thing to do.
At the Cherney Law Firm, we may be able to help you fight the judgment or continuing garnishments. Contact us today to determine how we can help you protect your money from continuing garnishment.
Georgia Wage Garnishment Exemption Form
If a creditor claims payment on a credit card, hospital bill, or loan, they cannot automatically garnish your pay. What they would need to do is to sue the person and get a judgment from the courts.
Once they have filed and obtained a judgment, they can proceed with the wage garnishment process. Once you determine that a creditor is trying to collect the debt owed through garnishing your wages, a person can object to such action.
The wage garnishment process and the procedures for objection will depend on the state and federal law and the type of debt collection.
A creditor will usually have to give written notice before your place of employment can start deducting money to pay a creditor that obtained a court judgment.
As a debtor, you will usually receive a Notice of Personal Earnings or Garnishment from the court. Once you get the notice, you will need to move fast to raise an objection.
If you have been slapped with a garnishment judgment, it is critical to contact an attorney as soon as possible, as the period during which you can file an objection is typically very short.
At the Cherney Law Firm, we have a skilled bankruptcy lawyer that may be able to help you file your objections to the court judgment. We have helped many clients in Georgia reverse a court judgment by taking advantage of limitations that apply to their case.
How to File a Wage Garnishment Exemption: The Garnishment Process
Filing an objection to a wage garnishment judgment usually begins with filing objection paperwork. Once the judgment is given, you will usually receive instructions from the court on what to object.
The instructions usually include:
- The deadline for filing the objection.
- Instruction on how to file the objection.
- Whether you need to draft your objection or use a court provided form.
- The type of information to be included in the form.
- Where you should file the objection.
- Whether you have to serve the objection to the creditor who obtained the judgment and other parties.
- The location, time, and date of hearings where the court will consider the objection.
Once you receive the garnishment forms, you should contact your lawyers and get advice on the way forward.
At the Cherney Law Firm, our bankruptcy lawyer has the necessary skills and experience in filing objections to court judgments. We may be able to help you file objections promptly to put a stop to continuing garnishments.
GA Garnishment Exemptions
There are several limits to the amount of your paycheck or money that can be subjected to wage garnishment in Georgia.
Under Georgia laws, a creditor cannot garnish more than 25% of a person’s disposable earnings or more than 30% of the federal minimum wage. If debtors’ wages are less than 30 times the federal minimum wage, then no garnishment will take place.
Disposable earnings refer to the amount of money left after your employer makes the mandatory legal deductions. These include federal, state, and local taxes, unemployment compensation insurance, and Social Security.
Nonmandatory or deductions under the law will usually not be counted towards reducing disposable earnings.
The processes available to a garnishee will usually depend on the type of debt and the state law. This is why you need to work with a bankruptcy lawyer who will provide the advice you need to attend a garnishment hearing or file an objection.
Reach out to us by phone or through our website today if you have been slapped with a garnishment order. Our attorneys have a good understanding of the laws and rules in garnishment and may help you with your case.