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Wage Garnishment: How much can they take?

Posted by John Ioakimidis | Jan 04, 2024 | 0 Comments

Wage garnishment, also known as wage attachment, is a method for enforcing a judgment by directing the debtor's employer to allocate a portion of the debtor's earnings toward the debt. This process, however, allows for only a fraction of the debtor's salary to be claimed. In certain cases, if the debtor's income is insufficient, it may not be possible to claim any portion of their earnings.

The maximum amount that an employer can withhold is 15% of the debtor's total pre-tax and pre-deduction income. Nonetheless, this garnishment must not reduce the debtor's remaining income to less than 45 times the hourly state minimum wage. Given the current state minimum wage of $14 per hour, wage garnishment is not applicable if the debtor's net weekly income is below $630.

The Formula to Determine How Much Can Be Garnished From Your Wages

To calculate the potential garnishment amount from a debtor's earnings, follow these steps:

  1. Multiply the debtor's total weekly income by 0.15 and note the result.
  2. Deduct $630 from the debtor's net weekly income and note this figure.
  3. The smaller of these two figures represents the maximum weekly amount that the creditor can garnish. If this number is zero, then no garnishment of the debtor's wages can occur.

What Payments are Exempt from Wage Garnishment?

Certain types of welfare and governmental benefits are exempt from creditor claims, including:

  • Social Security Disability benefits,
  • Retirement and Dependent/Survivor benefits,
  • Supplemental Security Income (SSI),
  • Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF),
  • General Assistance,
  • Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly Food Stamps),
  • Unemployment insurance benefits,
  • Most types of veterans' benefits.
  • Child support and alimony

If your wages are about to get garnished, filing for bankruptcy would put an immediate stop to the garnishment of your wages. It's important to know which types of debt can and cannot be discharged in the process. That's where Attorney John D. Ioakimidis comes in - he can answer your questions, assess your financial situation, and provide guidance throughout the process. To schedule a free consultation, either call us at 1-312-593-1765 or fill out our online contact form.

About the Author

John Ioakimidis

Experienced Bankruptcy Lawyer Handling Bankruptcy case in the Chicago Metropolitan Area For over 25 years, I have helped hundreds of individuals, families, and businesses erase or restructure tens of millions of dollars of debt in the greater Chicago area - including Cook, Lake, DuPage, McHenry,...


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