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How much can creditors take with wage garnishments?

If you're deep in debt and behind on your payments, you could also be facing a lawsuit from a creditor. This lawsuit is likely to seek judgment against you, which, if granted by a judge, will give a creditor the ability to then garnish your wages for the purposes of paying off debts.

If you're like most people who have found themselves in this situation, then you may have concerns about how much a creditor can take in wage garnishments. You may already be struggling to make ends meet or buy groceries for yourself and your family. Knowing what a creditor is allowed to garnish from your paycheck may influence future decisions about your finances and how you handle your debt.

Wage garnishment in Florida

Many people worry that their entire paycheck will be taken by creditors through wage garnishment, but this simply isn't the case. Creditors must follow the law, which limits the amount creditors are allowed to garnish.

In Florida, creditors are only allowed to garnish up to 25 percent of an individual's net wages or the amount an individual takes home each workweek (if that amount is more than 30 times the federal minimum hourly wage), explains the Florida Bar Association.

Wage garnishment exemptions

It's important to know that even if a creditor is granted judgment to begin wage garnishments, garnishments may not occur if you file an affidavit with the court and show that your net wages total $750 or less per week. Called the head-of-family exemption, this is one way to stop wage garnishments and protect your assets when facing considerable debt.

Stopping wage garnishments through bankruptcy

If an individual does not meet the head-of-family exemption, they cannot stop wage garnishments in this way. Instead, they must consider filing Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy, which can also stop wage garnishments through a court order.

The decision to file for bankruptcy is one that requires careful consideration, though, as it can have a significant impact on an individual's life as well as their family. Talking to a bankruptcy lawyer about debt relief options is best before making any final decisions. 

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