Georgia Garnishment Law is a resource for those interested in the legalities of having wages garnished. Discover now if your wages can be garnished.
Wage Garnishment in Georgia
A wage garnishment is when your employer is under a court order to deduct a set amount of money from your pay to transfer it to your creditors.
A creditor will usually need to sue you first and get a money judgment from a court before they can start a garnishment action.
However, some creditors don’t need to sue you before obtaining an order to garnish your wages. These creditors include:
- Those you owe child support or alimony payments to
- Providers of federal student loans
- The federal government, for any back taxes you owe
Your creditors cannot garnish your whole paycheck regardless of whether the court issued a money judgment. Just because an individual owes money does not mean that the payment plan to pay back the debt should leave that individual destitute.
State and federal law exist to protect and balance the interests of creditors and the rights of debtors.
Georgia Wage Garnishment Laws
There are laws to protect your rights, whether the court makes a one-time wage garnishment order or a continuing garnishment of your wages.
Here are the limits of wage garnishment in Georgia:
- 25% of your weekly disposable income or 15% of your disposable earnings for the week if the judgment is for a private student loan
- The amount by which your disposable earnings per week exceeds 30 times the federal minimum wage. If your disposable income is less than the federal minimum wage, it cannot be garnished. In other words, if your disposable income for a week exceeds $217.50, that amount can be garnished.
The disposable income refers to what is left after your employer takes mandatory deductions such as local taxes.
Our Alpharetta bankruptcy attorneys can advise you on working out your disposable income and exempt funds.
Contact us today so that you can protect your state pensions and supplemental security income from any garnishment action. We also have the legal resources to assist you should you decide to file for bankruptcy.
Georgia Garnishment Laws and Procedures
Georgia garnishment laws exist to ensure that your rights are protected. Therefore, if you feel that the garnishment is worsening your financial hardship, you can file a defendant’s claim form to exempt your income from continuing garnishment.
Bear in mind that there are several garnishment exemptions. These exemptions include:
- Retirement benefits as well as Social Security disability benefits, unless the debtor has unpaid child support, federal taxes, or federal student loans;
- State welfare benefits;
- Received child support payments;
- Unemployment compensation unless the debtor owes child support payments;
- VA benefits with certain exceptions for debts to the government or for support.
Even though most pensions are exempt from garnishment, some are not. It is also advisable not to deposit any money in a bank account.
Filing a claim for exemptions before getting a court judgment for garnishment is essential. The court will then schedule a hearing where the debtor will have to prove that certain income qualifies for the exemption.
How Do You Know If You Have a Garnishment?
Once a creditor is awarded a money judgment, and the court finalizes the wage garnishment process, your employer, bank, or other financial institutions will receive a garnishment notice.
You will know the garnishment amount and how much your employer will deduct once the garnishment action starts.
How Long Do Garnishments Last?
The wage garnishment will stop when you have fully paid your debts to the judgment creditor. You will notice continuing garnishments on your payslips until you fully pay your debts.
However, you can request to stop the garnishment by filing a Chapter 7 or 13 bankruptcy and getting debt relief.
Reach out to a Kennesaw bankruptcy lawyer if you need further information and guidance. We can work with you to understand your options and help you select the most suitable one for you.
Effects of Wage Garnishment
Wage garnishment can lower the quality of your life. This is especially true if you had barely managed to meet your basic needs before the wage garnishments began. In that case, you should explore other alternatives for debt relief.
Visit our bankruptcy attorney Marietta, GA, to develop a better solution for your financial woes.
How Can Cherney Law Help?
Bankruptcy attorneys at the Cherney Law Firm have the necessary experience and skills in filing objections to court judgments. In other words, we may be able to help you file objections to stop wage garnishment.
Contact us today and schedule a consultation to see how we can help you.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Do I Stop Garnishment in Georgia?
You can stop garnishment in Georgia by filing for bankruptcy. A bankruptcy lawyer can help you file for a Chapter 13 or Chapter 7 bankruptcy.
When your case goes through, you will be granted an automatic stay. An automatic stay is a court order that disallows creditors from seizing a debtor’s property.
Can Your Bank Account Be Garnished in Georgia?
A debt collector can use a bank account garnishment to take funds from your bank accounts for the judgment plus any expenses incurred.