Florida Wage Garnishment Laws
A wage garnishment is a legal order from the court in favor of your creditor, which is sent to your employer. If your employer receives this order from the court, they must give a portion of your wages directly to the creditor that you owe, prior to giving you the remaining amount of your check. If you fell behind on your bills and a creditor received a judgment in their favor, they may have the right to require your employer to garnish your wages in the amount owed to them split up over a certain period of time.
The state of Florida does allow wage garnishment. The amount that a creditor is entitled to garnish on a weekly basis if you are considered the “head of the family” differs from a person who is not providing more than one half of the support of a child or other dependent. If you do qualify as head of the family, all of your disposable earnings that are less than $750 per week are totally exempt from wage garnishment. However, after that, creditors are able to take 25% of what you make at your job. Additionally, if you believe that you meet the poverty level standards, you can find the national standards considered to be poverty levels at the Department of Health and Human Services website.
Money in Bank Accounts
If you have money in a bank account that has already been granted to you through your wages prior to a court order for wage garnishment, you may wonder if this money is protected from your creditor’s rights. If the money already deposited in a bank account is in any way traceable as income from a job, you have the right to exempt 75% of those net earnings that have been in your bank account for longer than six months. However, if you have co-mingled these funds with any other type of fund, you lose this exemption as a debtor. Therefore, as a practical matter, in many cases, the bank account funds are available by creditors for wage garnishment purposes.
Wage Garnishment and Bankruptcy Law
If you are facing possible wage garnishment due to the fact that a creditor is taking you to court regarding debts you owe, or you already have a judgment against you by a creditor, you may be considering filing for bankruptcy. Filing for either a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy will immediately stop any wage garnishment proceedings, as well as any wage garnishments that have already begun. This break in the wage garnishment process can help a debtor make decisions regarding how best to financially proceed in their specific situation.
Reach Out to Us Today for Help
If you are facing the possibility of wage garnishment due to debts owed to a creditor or multiple creditors, you have the legal right to stop the process through a bankruptcy filing. Our West Palm Beach bankruptcy attorneys at Kelley Fulton Kaplan & Eller can help you understand your legal rights if you are facing wage garnishment and help you determine if bankruptcy is right for you. Contact us today at 561-264-6850 for a consultation.