West Palm Beach Wage Garnishments Attorney
Having your wages garnished is frightening, embarrassing, and stressful. It will likely put you in a worse financial situation than you are in already, and you probably never thought it would get to this point. However, wage garnishment is a tactic that creditors can use to collect on a debt, but they don’t always do it properly or fairly. At Kelley, Fulton & Kaplan, our West Palm Beach wage garnishment attorneys help clients stop wage garnishment, looking at all the ways we can prevent creditors from using this severe debt collection method.
What Is Wage Garnishment?
Wage garnishment occurs when a court orders your employer to divert a portion of your paycheck to a creditor. Unpaid child support, consumer debt, student loans, and tax liens are common sources of wage garnishment, and unless you act, your earnings will be garnished until the debt is paid off. There is also a nonwage garnishment, commonly referred to as a bank levy, allowing a creditor to take money from your bank account. Depending on the type of debt being collected, federal law does place limits on how much of your disposable income a creditor can take. These are:
- Credit card debt, medical bills, personal loans, and most other consumer debts – Either 25% of your disposable income or the amount by which your weekly income exceeds 30 times the federal minimum wage, whichever is less.
- Child support and alimony – 50% of your disposable income if you are supporting another child or spouse; otherwise, up to 60%. If you are more than 12 weeks late in payments, an additional 5% may be taken.
- Federal student loans – 15% of your disposable income.
- Taxes – Usually, up to 15%. The IRS will determine the amount taken based on standard deductions and the number of dependents you have.
Florida also has its own laws covering wage garnishment, which, in most cases, further limit the amount creditors can take from your wages. For example, if you are head of the family and your wages are $750 per week or less, your wages cannot be garnished by a creditor. However, this exemption and others are not automatic. You must claim exemptions by filing an affidavit with the court when you are notified that a creditor intends to request a wage garnishment. Our attorneys are skilled at identifying wage garnishment exemptions and making the necessary court filings for appropriate relief under the law. It may also be apt to challenge the garnishment or negotiate with the creditor.
Speak with an Experienced West Palm Beach Wage Garnishment Attorney Today
If you’re facing garnishment, you need to act quickly to protect your income and assets. Our attorneys can assist you in challenging the garnishment, see if you qualify for an exemption, or work out a different, better deal. Bottom line? You have options, and we can help determine what’s best in your situation. Our office is based in West Palm Beach, and we represent clients in debt relief and bankruptcy matters throughout South Florida.