Can My Wages Be Garnished?
Nov 29, 2018
You are already living paycheck to paycheck and you received notice from your employer that one of your creditors wants to start garnishing your wages. In the State of Wisconsin, a creditor that sues you in court and is awarded a money judgment against you, can receive a garnishment up to 20% of your disposable earnings. If you were having a hard time keeping up with your monthly bills before the garnishment, it will be next to impossible with 20% less of your disposable income. The good news is that not everyone’s wages can be garnished.
The wage garnishment court papers that the creditor serves upon you will explain the defenses a person has to avoid a wage garnishment. The forms can be a little confusing but definitely worth the effort, especially if you have a defense as to why your wages cannot be garnished.
A CREDITOR CANNOT GARNISH YOUR WAGES IF:
· You receive public assistance, medical assistance, veterans benefits, supplemental security income, food stamps, or have received these benefits within the last 6 months
· Your household income is below the federal poverty line or if the garnishment of 20% of your disposable income would put you under the federal poverty line
· You already pay 25% of your disposable earnings for child support or maintenance by court order
If you have a defense as to why your wages cannot be garnished you MUST complete the Earnings Garnishment Debtor’s Answer form and either deliver or mail it to your employer so that they are aware that your wages cannot be garnished. Your employer is required to mail a copy of the form to the creditor to show why they are not withholding the garnishment from your pay check.
If none of the above defenses apply to your situation there are may be alternative options available to you, such as a Wisconsin Section 128 or a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy. Check out our blog titled “How to Stop Wage Garnishment In Wisconsin” to find out more or contact our office.
Pedersen Law Office, LLCoffers free consults in all of our areas of practice and will meet with you personally to discuss your specific circumstances and see what options are available for you. Our law office serves the communities of Appleton, Neenah, Menasha, Oshkosh, Green Bay and their surrounding areas.