When money is already tight, having your wages garnished to pay off debt can be disastrous. If debt collectors are threatening to take you to court to garnish your wages, or they already are, you need the representation of an experienced wage garnishment attorney in Miami. At Stiberman Law, we will fight back against creditors and provide you with debt relief options that will improve your quality of life, allow you to keep more of your income, and help you move forward with greater financial security. FREE CONSULTATION
Wage garnishment is a legal court judgment stating that a set amount from a debtor's paycheck must be diverted to a creditor to whom the debtor owes money. Let's look more closely at the process that occurs in order for a creditor to have your wages garnished.
The garnishment process starts when unsecured debt creditors, such as credit card companies, collectors for medical bills, or debt collection agencies sue an individual for outstanding debt. If the judge rules in their favor at the garnishment hearing, the creditor can request a court order to garnish your wages in order to get their money.
Before the earnings withholding order goes through, the debtor is notified. Miami residents must then move quickly to stop the garnishment from taking place. Florida law states that a debtor only has 20 days after the court order is placed before the debtor's employer is notified and pay is garnished.
Once the order is in effect, judgment creditors will continue to receive wages until one of three things happen:
In some cases, a judgment creditor can access your bank account in a bank levy. These are less common, but the creditor may obtain a court order freezing your accounts and removing money to cover the owed amount. Anytime money is added to your account, the creditor can continue to take money from it to keep paying the balance.
While the above process refers to judgment debts — wage garnishment sought from an unsecured creditor — certain debts do not require a court order. This includes:
Instead, the responsible agencies can contact an employer directly and wages can be garnished after informing the debtor. These debts also can not be removed in a bankruptcy discharge.
Get Immediate Legal Help
Schedule a free consultation by filling out the form below or Call us (954) 922-2283
Mon-Fri 8:00 am to 8:00 pm
Saturday 9:00 am to 6:00 pm
Speaking to our bankruptcy law firm is always 100% confidential.
If you receive a notice that you are being sued by a creditor, it's important to secure legal representation as soon as possible. At Stiberman Law, we can negotiate with creditors to reduce your payments or settle on a lump sum to avoid a default judgment.
If the order has gone through, our experienced attorneys can analyze the paperwork and judgment to look for procedural mistakes or file an exemption to either cancel the garnishment or reduce the garnishment amount.
Depending on your financial situation, we can also discuss whether you should file for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy. This will stop any withholding of your paycheck in addition to communication from any creditors.
Since 1998, Stiberman Law has been dedicated to helping our clients escape debt and keep more of their hard-earned income. Regardless of your financial challenges, we can provide you with personalized guidance and legal action to improve your financial future.
If you are concerned about whether you can afford a wage garnishment lawyer in Miami, we offer a free evaluation and initial consultation as well as affordable payment plans. Our law firm is dedicated to fighting against predatory creditors and helping our clients achieve greater financial freedom.
We understand it can be confusing and scary to have your paycheck withheld by a creditor. To help you better understand the process, we're answering some frequently asked questions.
Federal law has strict guidelines related to how much of your income can be withheld for student loans, child support, and unsecured debt.
If you have consumer debt, either 25 percent of your weekly disposable income after legally required deductions may be garnished or any amount you earn over the federal minimum hourly wage times 30. For example, if you make less than $217.50, which is 30 hours a week at minimum wage ($7.25/hour), your wages will not be garnished. Any amount over $217.50 is subject to wage garnishment.
If you owe child support or alimony, up to 60 percent of your disposable income may be diverted.
Defaulted student loans are eligible for up to 15 percent garnishment from the Department of Education, while the Internal Revenue Service can take up to 15 percent for back taxes.
Yes, if you are able to use the head of household exemption or show that you pay at least half of a dependent's living expenses, the minimum amount you can make raises from $217.50 to $750.
Any earnings from a job must be analyzed, but if you have social security or disability income, that can only be levied to pay taxes, student loans, child support, or victim restitution.
The only way to stop the garnishment completely is to file for bankruptcy and receive an automatic stay and stop withholding
Typically, no, more than one creditor can not garnish your paycheck. Even if you have two or more debts, it's basically a "first come, first served" when it comes to court orders.
No. The new employer will be notified of the order and will be required to garnish your wages. However, if you can find a better job, this may help you get the amount you owe paid more quickly.
Why Choose Stiberman Law?
22+ Years Of Experience
Free Initial Consultation
100+ 5 Star Reviews
Don't lose out on your hard-earned income. Our wage garnishment attorneys are on your side to help you keep your wages. Schedule a free consultation with an experienced lawyer at Stiberman Law today by calling (954) 932-7804 or filling out the form below.
Speaking to our law firm is always 100% confidential. We do our best to respond to inquiries in under 24 hours.
We’ll get in touch as soon as possible.