Wage Garnishments-What is it? How to fight it and Keep Your Hard-
November 4, 2022
HOW DID MY WAGES GET GARNISHED?
- First, a creditor filed a lawsuit.
- Then the creditor got a judgment.
- Finally, since they know where you work, they sent the Wage Garnishment.
“I didn’t know someone sued me.” That is not uncommon. But the Clerk of the Court will show a judgment against you.
A Wage Garnishment demands that your employer pays them 15% of your gross income: not net income. For example, gross income is $600 per week the deduction is $90.
WHAT ARE MY OPTIONS?
In Illinois, lawmakers have left you with few choices when you get a brick on your check.
- You can pay the full judgment (not likely).
- Offer a repayment plan to the creditor (rarely works).
- Quit your job (not a good idea).
- Grin and bear it (thinking it ends soon, but that may not be true).
- File a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 Bankruptcy and stop the Garnishment now so you can get your finances in order.
What is the fastest way to stop the Garnishment? Immediately call a lawyer who concentrates in Bankruptcy law.
The Law Firm of Robert J Adams can file a Bankruptcy in one day. No money but a good job? We can file your case “NO MONEY DOWN.”
Call us at (312) 872-8443. A lawyer is available from 7 AM to 7 PM every day, including Saturday and Sunday.
WAGE GARNISHMENTS IN ILLINOIS
A creditor obtains a money judgment against you. Then they serve your employer with a) a Wage Deduction Order, or: b) a Citation to Discover Assets on a 3rd party. The 3rd party is your employer.
Most collection lawyers use the Citation. Why? They get a treasure trove of information about you. Such as:
- Your bank account: (Many employers now pay by direct deposit.)
- Your home address and phone number. and,
- If you recently left that place of employment, your new employer, if known.
When the creditor sends the Garnishment. they add:
- Court costs ($85 to $145 and sometimes more).
- Accrued interest from the date of the judgment.
- The deductions continue until paid in full.
Your employer must honor the garnishment. If they don’t, they will become liable for the entire amount of the judgment. Don’t wait: call a lawyer familiar with the Wage Garnishment laws in Illinois.
LIMITATIONS ON A WAGE GARNISH ORDER
Do you pay child support from your paycheck? The amount you pay for child support will be deducted from the 15%. An example wage-$600; 15% is $90; child support order is $40; the wage deduction is $50.
Illinois law has an exemption of 45 times the state of Illinois weekly minimum wages. Currently, the State of Illinois’ minimum wage is $12 per hour. You should be able to take home $540 of your disposable income.
- A Wage Garnishment does not stop a creditor from pursuing other collection tactics:
- Garnishing bank accounts and/or credit union accounts.
- Filing judgment liens.
- Employers can charge a service fee for each pay period.
- Overtime pay and bonuses are subject to garnishment. So even if you earn extra money, your creditors benefit.
- The law prohibits an employer from firing an employee for the first garnishment. There is no protection from a second garnishment. Employers can look for other reasons to fire an employee.
- A Bankruptcy filing only protects further wages. Any amount already deducted is lost to the creditor.
- Can you appeal to the court that the Wage Garnishment is an undue hardship? It will not work.
Others Who Can Attach Your Paycheck without a Judgment
- The IRS can levy your paycheck.
- The government for back child support.
- The federal government for student loans.
- The State of Illinois for certain debts.