Wages and Garnishments

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  • Topic: Debt, Garnishment, Civil procedure
  • Pages : 5 (1640 words )
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  • Published : March 23, 2013
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Garnishments & Exemptions

Team A

March 22, 2013

Instructor Hicks

BUL 2131-28

Team A

March 22, 2013

BUL 2131-28

Instructor Hicks

Garnishments & Exemptions

According to Miller & Hollowell (2013) “Garnishments occur when a creditor is permitted to collect a debt by seeing property of the debtor (such as wages or funds in a bank account) that is being held by a third party (such as an employer or a bank). As a result of a garnishment proceeding, the debtor’s employer may be ordered by the court to turn over a portion of the debtor’s wages to pay the debt. In each state, the federal and state laws limit the amount that can be garnished from a debtors weekly pay that they take home. The federal law provides a minimal framework to protect debtors from losing all their income in order to pay judgment debts. The state laws provide dollar exemptions, and these amounts are often larger than those provided by the federal law. In every state, the federal and state laws can be joined together to help create sufficient funds that can help a debtor continue to live and provide for their families. Garnishments are different from state to state for example, according to some laws in some states, the judgment creditor (the creditor who obtains the garnishment order) needs to obtain only one order of garnishment, which will then be applied weekly, until the full debt is paid. In this report we will discuss the different garnishment laws in a few states.

In Florida, Wages of the head of a family are exempt from garnishment unless the person's net wages are more than $500 per week and the person has agreed in writing to allow wages to be taken to pay the debt. A head of family includes all persons who reside in Florida and who provide more than one-half of the support for a child or other dependent. Wages in a bank account that belong to a head of family retain their protection from being seized for six months even if the wages are mixed with money from other sources. If a head of family had not agreed in writing to allow the garnishment or attachment of wages, all the wages are exempt. You must file an affidavit with the court to declare your head of family status and protect your wages from being taken. Persons who do not qualify as head of family will still have the protection of federal law which limits the amount of wages that can be garnished. If you take home less than 30 times the minimum wage per week, all of your wages are exempt. Otherwise, a judgment creditor can obtain 25 percent of your net wages under a continuing writ of garnishment until the judgment is paid in full. With your exemptions, You may claim them by filing an affidavit with the court describing the exemption and your claim to it. Your affidavit must also be sent to the judgment creditor and any attorney for the judgment creditor. The judgment creditor must then file an affidavit with the court within two days to challenge your exemption. If the judgment creditor doesn't object by filing an affidavit, you can ask the court for a hearing to stop the garnishment or execution and have your exempt wages or property returned to you. Notice of the hearing must be given to the judgment creditor. Under current Florida law, if your wages or bank accounts are going to be garnished, you will not receive any notice until after the wages have already been withheld or a hold placed on your bank account. The judgment creditor must send you a copy of the writ of garnishment, a copy of the answer filed by your employer or bank and a notice telling you about your right to request that the court stop the garnishment or execution. Your spouse or any other person who has an ownership interest in the property may file an affidavit showing the right of ownership and requesting the court to return the property. The judgment creditor may contest the claim of exemption and request a hearing. Transfers...
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