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Rules for Wage Garnishment You Need to Know

The rules for wage garnishment require creditors to follow specific procedures and file specific documents, such as a writ of garnishment, in order to garnish your wages. Wage garnishment laws dictate that creditors who don’t follow these rules to the letter can be penalized, so it’s good to know these rules if you are being threatened with wage garnishment by a creditor.

The first step a creditor must take to garnish your wages is to get a judgment against you. This means the creditor must file a claim in an Arizona court stating that you have not paid a valid debt to the creditor. If you get a court summons regarding a debt, make sure you consult with an attorney before you respond. This may be your only chance to influence the amount of the debt recorded in court and make sure the creditor has correct information. If you can prove that the information the creditor provides the court is incorrect, you may correct the amount of the judgement or stop the judgement all together, according to the rules for wage garnishment.

 

The next step in the rules for wage garnishment is for the creditor to obtain a writ of garnishment from the court clerk. This requires meticulous paperwork that your lawyer should review to ensure all information provided is correct. According to wage garnishment laws, if the creditor provides incorrect information, the writ of garnishment may not be granted.

After a writ of garnishment has been granted, the creditor must issue a summons to your employer who must verify whether there is money to be garnished.

 

According to the rules for wage garnishment, the question of whether there is money to be garnished is determined by how much you earn after certain exemptions. Wage garnishment laws limit the amount creditors can garnish to either 25% of your non-exempt wages or your non-exempt wages minus current minimum wage rate multiplied by 30 hours per week. Whichever number is lower is the limit on how much creditors can garnish from your wages. To read more about these calculations and your garnishment rights, please read this article: Wage Garnishment Rights Explained to You—How Rules for Wage Garnishment Affect Your Income.

 

Rules for Wage Garnishment After Garnishment Begins

 

After a creditor begins garnishing your wages, wage garnishment laws require the creditor to file quarterly reports. In Arizona, creditors must report how much is garnished from your employer each pay period and report its impact on your debt.

 

Rules for wage garnishment also dictate that the creditor must file additional reports with the court, you and the employer when you are nearing the end of your garnishment period. The first additional report is filed when the balance of your debt is less than twice your non-exempt earnings in the last two pay periods. The second report is filed when the balance of your debt drops below $500. After that report, the creditor must file monthly reports until the debt is paid, at which time the creditor must file a Release of Garnishment with the court.

 

As you can see, wage garnishment laws and the rules that must be followed are very complex. The best way to ensure your rights are protected is to hire an attorney.

 

Jeffrey P. Judge will be glad to talk to you about your case and wage garnishment rights with you without cost or obligation. Just go to our Contact Us page and fill out the form.

Or call us today at 520-745-1500.

 

You can also get more information about wage garnishment by reading these additional articles:
Garnishment Rights – What You Should Know
Wage Garnishment Rights Explained for You