DeLand, FL asked in Bankruptcy, Employment Law, Collections and Small Claims for Florida

Q: My wages were garnished but I don't make enough money to be garnished, what do I do?

I have multiple judgements against me from different debts but same law firm. I don't make enough money for my wages to be garnished and haven't in years. The law firm reached out to my employer and threatened that if they don't garnish my wages then they'll attempt to garnish my jobs income. My job didn't inform me of this and garnished my wages but I don't meet the requirements of making 30 times the federal minimum wage. They're going to comply with the law firm and fill out the info requested and they're asking me to fill it out as well and sending them my paystubs. I informed my boss this isn't legal for them to garnish my income and they're seeing what they can do about the garnished money. I have no assets and work part time as a delivery driver. What rights do I have here?

1 Lawyer Answer
James L. Arrasmith
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  • Bankruptcy Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA

A: Facing wage garnishment when your income does not meet the legal requirements for such action can be distressing. First, it's important to understand that federal and state laws provide specific protections for individuals in your situation. For instance, there are limits to how much of your wages can be garnished, and these limits are designed to ensure that you have enough income left to meet basic living expenses. If your earnings are below a certain threshold, typically 30 times the federal minimum wage per week, garnishment may not be legally permissible.

To address this issue, you should gather all relevant documentation, including pay stubs, the garnishment order, and any communication from the law firm or your employer regarding the garnishment. This information will be crucial in disputing the garnishment based on your income level. It's also advisable to inform your employer in writing, providing evidence that the garnishment exceeds what is legally allowed, as they may not be aware of the specific legal requirements.

Seeking legal advice from an attorney experienced in debt law could be beneficial. They can help you understand your rights and may assist in contesting the garnishment directly with the creditor or through the courts. Furthermore, if the garnishment is found to be improper, you may be entitled to a refund of the garnished wages. Legal aid organizations can offer assistance if you cannot afford an attorney. Taking these steps can help protect your income and ensure that your rights are upheld.

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