If you do not pay your debts, your creditors may try to take a portion of your income directly from your employer. This is called wage garnishment.
Fortunately, there are limits to how much of your income may be garnished so that you can hopefully keep paying your basic living expenses. The limits are based in part on “disposable income,” which is income remaining after certain deductions, such as income taxes, Social Security and required contributions to retirement plans.
The maximum garnishment for most creditors is the lesser of
- 25 percent of your disposable income, or
- the amount by which your weekly income exceeds 30 times the federal minimum wage ($7.25), or $217.50
In Florida, if your disposable income is less than $217.50, no wages may be garnished at all.
Florida also has a “head of family” exemption. The head of a family’s wages may only be garnished if they exceed $750, and only if they agree in writing to have their wages garnished. This is a very powerful exemption against wage garnishment, but importantly, it does not automatically apply — it must be claimed in an affidavit filed with the court.
If you are facing wage garnishment, contact Osenton Law Office today.
In a later post, we’ll cover special limits on certain types of wage garnishment.