Wage garnishment, the most common type of garnishment, is the
process of deducting money from an employee’s wages as a result of a court
order. Wage garnishments continue until the entire debt is paid or arrangements
are made to pay off the debt. Garnishments can be taken for any type of debt
but common examples of debt that result in garnishments include:
credit card and medical bills
When served on an employer, garnishments are
part of the payroll process. When processing payroll, sometimes there is not
enough money in the employee’s net pay to satisfy all of the garnishments.
For example, in a case with tax, and credit card garnishments, the first
garnishment taken would be the tax garnishment, then garnishments for the
credit card. Employers receive a notice telling them to withhold a certain
amount of their employee’s wages for payment and cannot refuse to garnish
wages. Employers must correctly calculate the amount to withhold and must
make the deductions until the garnishment expires.
Wage garnishment can negatively affect credit,
reputation with an employer, and the ability to receive a loan or open a bank
The garnishment limit (with some exceptions
like child support and taxes) is 25% of the employee’s disposable earnings
(what’s left after mandatory deductions).