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What you should know about wage garnishment

Wage garnishment is a term used to describe a legal procedure that allows a creditor to receive payment for a debt that is owed by having the employer deduct the money directly from an employee's paycheck before the employee ever receives it. The money that is deducted from the check is then sent directly to the creditor.

Garnishment is usually a last ditch effort by creditors when all other means of collecting have failed. Debts that may legally be repaid through this method typically include judgments from court cases, personal loans, child support, back taxes and student loans.

It is important to realize, however, that before a creditor can request that an employer perform a wage garnishment, the creditor must first receive an order from the court. To do this, the creditor must ask for a hearing with the court and then prove that the person owing the money has defaulted, or rather, failed to make the payment or payments that were required. The person must be notified of this hearing so that he or she has a chance to attend.

Although the garnishment may be approved, there is still protection in place for the individual. First, he or she must be informed by the employer that the garnishment is about to start. The court is also aware that the individual must still have money to live on, so the court will set an amount that is to be deducted each time the person is paid. Once the debt has been repaid, the garnishment will then stop.

Individuals who are facing wage garnishment may have valuable legal rights and may find it beneficial to learn more about these rights and the wage garnishment process.

Source: FindLaw, "Wage Garnishment," accessed April. 09, 2015

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