Should I Get a Garnishment Defense Attorney If My Wages Are Being Garnished?
Consider these factors when deciding whether to hire a garnishment defense attorney to help with wage garnishment.
What is a Wage Garnishment?
Let’s start by discussing wage garnishment. As the name implies, wage garnishment is the process of taking money from your paychecks to pay debts.
More specifically, wage garnishment allows a creditor to take a portion of your wages to satisfy a judgment.
Under Georgia Law, O.C.G.A. §18-4-5 (a) (1), subject to the limitations set forth in Code Sections 18-4-6 and 18-4-53, a judgment holder to garnish up to 25% of a defendant’s maximum part of disposable earnings for any workweek.
Your Options When Facing a Wage Garnishment
If you are facing the possibility of a wage garnishment or your wages are already being garnished, you may be considering if hiring a garnishment defense lawyer to challenge the wage garnishment, do nothing, or take some other action.
Whether you should hire a debt defense lawyer or address the garnishment some other way depends on several factors, like whether:
- You owe the debt
- Is there a valid judgment against you
- Did you know about the judgment
- the creditor more than is legally allowed
- the wages being garnished are exempted by state or federal laws.
What income is exempt from a Georgia wage garnishment?
These are general exemptions to wage garnishments. Every case is different. [See a garnishment defense lawyer for advice about your specific situation]. The following types of income or wages cannot be garnished satisfy a judgment:
- Social Security disability and retirement benefits (unless you owe child support or, federal student loans, or a federal tax debt)
- SSI benefits
- State Well fare payments
- Unemployment Compensation (unless you owe child support)
- VA benefits (with some exceptions for the money you owe the government or for support)
- Student Loans
- Child Support you receive
Here is a list of specific legal exceptions.
Georga Statutory Exceptions:
- Erisa Qualified Retirement And Pension Benefits (O.C.G.A. § 18-4-22)
- Unemployment Benefits (O.C.G.A. § 34-8-252)
- Workers Compensation (O.C.G.A. § 34-9-84)
- Joint Accountholder (O.C.G.A. § 7-1-812)
- Child Support (Stewart V. Stewart, 160 Ga. App. 463 (1981); Richards V. Richards, 281 Ga. 285, 286 (2006)).
- Crime Victim Compensation Funds (O.C.G.A. § 17-15-8)
- Wages Due To A Deceased Employee Of The State Up To $2500.00 (O.C.G.A. §34-7-4)
- Disability Insurance Benefits, $250.00/Month During Disability (O.C.G.A. § 33-29-15)
- Charitable Or Fraternal Society Benefits Paid To Beneficiary (O.C.G.A. § 33-15-62)
- Cash Value/Benefits Payable To Life Insurance Policy Beneficiary (O.C.G.A. § 33-25-11)
- State Pensions
- State Or Local Government Employees Under Ers (O.C.G.A. § 47-2-332)
- Teachers (O.C.G.A. § 47-3-28); Public School Employees (O.C.G.A. § 47-4-120
- Firemen (O.C.G.A. § 47-7-122)
- Social Security Retirement, Social Security Disability Insurance (Ssdi), and Supplemental Security Income (Ssi) (42 U.S.C. § 407)
- Veterans Benefits (38 U.S.C. § 5301)
- Veterans Survivor Annuities (10 U.S.C. § 1450)
- Federal Civil Service Retirement Benefits (5 U.S.C. § 8346)
- Federal Civil Service Survivor Annuities (5 U.S.C. § 8346)
- Railroad Retirement Act Benefits (45 U.S.C. § 231)
- Longshore And Harbor Worker’s Compensation Benefits (33 U.S.C. § 916)
- Merchant Seamen Protection And Relief Act Benefits (46 U.S.C. § 11109)
- Compensation For Injury/Death Of U.S. Contractor Outside U.S. (42 U.S.C. § 1717)
Talk to a Garnishment Defense Lawyer
Diwan law can be your guide through the garnishment process and be your debt defense attorney to stop the garnishment.
Diwan Law represents clients facing:
- Debt buyer lawsuits [i.e. Midland Funding, Portfolio Recovery Associates, Asset Acceptance, Cavalry SPV I, LLC, Cavalry Portfolio Services, Unifund, etc.]
- Credit Card lawsuits [Zwicker, Cooling and Winter, Cooling & Winter]
Types of Debt Defense Cases
After falling victim to a business’s deceptive or fraudulent practices, consumers often find themselves needing a consumer rights lawyer. Turn to the leading Atlanta debt defense attorney. Diwan law is dedicated to fighting for you.