Miami Wage Garnishment Lawyer
Wages are garnished in Florida for many reasons, but the underlying one is always to repay a debt that is long since past due. Whether it is for taxes, past due child support or something else, the state is permitted to garnish a set portion of an individual’s wages in order to see the debt paid. However, there may be a better solution for both you and the person to whom you owe the debt. Consulting a Miami wage garnishment lawyer may set you both on a better path.
When Can My Wages Be Garnished?
A garnishment can in many cases seem to appear out of nowhere, but in reality, it is an option anytime there is a judgment levied against you by a judge or jury. Common examples are child support, default judgments on debts like auto loans, and past due tax bills. The reason that many garnishments appear to happen out of nowhere is that you may not be informed of it right away – when a judgment is obtained against you, it is your employer who is served with what is called a writ of garnishment, not you.
Without a judgment against you, your wages cannot be garnished officially, but as long as your creditor has that judgment, a garnishment can proceed. There are, however, laws governing the amount and/or percentage that can be taken out of your paycheck, since it is against public policy to take out so much that it would endanger a person’s ability to support themselves. The amount will depend on the nature of the judgment against you.
Exemptions From Garnishment
All states have at least some kind of exemption to wage garnishments because sometimes, it is simply not tenable to allow them lest debtors become insolvent completely. However, because so many people were badly affected by the 2008 recession, Florida’s are particularly generous to debtors. There are two main exemptions, and both of them can apply to a wide range of people. The first is fairly straightforward – garnishment may not exceed either 25 percent of one’s wages orany amount that is more than the federal minimum wage times 30. In other words, if you make less than $217.50 per week, your wages are exempt under this proviso.
The other exemption applies to the head of a household, defined as someone who provides more than one half the support for a child or other dependent. The statute holds that all of the “disposable” income of a head of household that is less than or equal to $750 per week are exempt, and any disposable income over $750 for that person can only be garnished if the person has consented to the garnishment in writing. This exemption, however, must be claimed affirmatively – as soon as you are aware of any attempt to garnish your wages, you must complete the relevant forms and submit them. If you do not, the exemption may not be granted to you.
Ask A Miami Garnishment Lawyer For Help Today
Having one’s wages garnished can feel hopeless and frightening, but with a knowledgeable attorney on your side, it can feel like there may be a way out of the morass. The Miami garnishment lawyers at Nowack & Olson, PLLC have experience in these cases and are happy to try and help you with yours. Contact us on our website or via telephone to set up an initial consultation.