Can A Garnishment Follow You To Another Job?

Changing Jobs To Avoid Wage Garnishment

The act of creditors receiving money directly from your paycheck to satisfy a debt is called wage garnishment. Creditors can only do this with permission from a court. Sadly, wage garnishment often sends most debtors into a financial tailspin. Most of the time it is the IRS that garnishes wages but any creditor can request garnishment from a debtor. Once a court issues an order for your wages to be garnished, your payroll department has to comply with the order. You cannot be fired because your wage is being garnished, but the whole situation can be embarrassing and frustrating.

Debts That Can Trigger Garnishment

The type of debt most likely to trigger wage garnishment is unsecured debt. This includes credit card debt, and unpaid medical bills. Since there is no collateral that the creditor can possess or sell, the creditor is likely to request for wage garnishment. The amount a creditor can garnish from your wages varies from state to state, but in some states creditors can garnish as much as 25% of your disposable income. The IRS can take more than that from your wages if you owe taxes. Your wages can be garnished as a result of your spouse’s debt in states where couples share debts and assets. The state of Florida does not allow wage garnishment if the debtor’s disposable income is less than 30 times federal minimum wage.

Switching Jobs And Ending Wage Garnishment

Can A Garnishment Follow You To Another JobYour creditor will have to get a court order to garnish your wage every time you change jobs. This is not an easy feat for creditors because it costs them money to get those court orders. In fact, creditors are less likely to garnish your wages if you change jobs, but that doesn’t mean that changing jobs is a way to end wage garnishment. You can only end wage garnishment by paying your debt in full or by filing for bankruptcy. Since wage garnishment itself often stretches the debtor’s income too thin, it is very difficult for debtors to pay their debts in that situation. 

Many people turn to bankruptcy because it may eliminate debt all together or allow for reorganization of debt. A Chapter 7 bankruptcy can help discharge all your unsecured debt after your non-exempt assets have been liquidated. Another option is a Chapter 13 bankruptcy which allows a debtor to propose a 3 to 5 year repayment plan to creditors to pay off all or parts of the debts from the debtor’s income.

Garnishment For Child Support

People who have fallen behind on child support payments should also expect their wages to be garnished.  The other parent can request a court to issue an order to withhold income of the parent that has fallen behind on payments. In some cases, up to 50 percent of your disposable earnings may be garnished, but that can rise to 60 percent in certain situations. An experienced lawyer can answer all your questions and explain all your options if you are facing wage garnishment 

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