If you owe a debt, your wages can be garnished up to a certain limit to
repay what is owed. For many, it can be hard enough to make ends meet
without losing income to wage garnishment. There are different types of
wage garnishment, each with its own rules, and depending on your situation,
there may be options which can allow you to reduce or completely eliminate
these withheld funds. In order to understand your options, it is also
important to understand the laws which govern how wages can be garnished.
Who Can Garnish your Wages?
In Kansas the rules governing wage garnishment depend heavily on who is
seeking to collect wages and why the money is owed. There are two main
types of wage garnishments: administrative garnishments and garnishments
Garnishment for judgements: In the case of wages garnished for judgements, a person or organization
seeking to collect on a debt must obtain a money judgement by suing you
in court and winning. The order will then be sent to your employer where
your funds will be “held” and sent to the collector each pay
period until your debt is paid. This places legal limits on exactly who
is able to collect financial compensation for a debt. A collector may
threaten wage garnishment as a tactic for collections, but they cannot
legally garnish your wages until they take you to court and win.
Administrative garnishments: There are some situations where a creditor can garnish wages without a
court ordered judgement. Generally these situations are known as administrative
garnishments and although creditors will not need to sue you in court,
you will still have opportunities to contest garnishments.
Types of administrative garnishments include:
Student loans: If you have defaulted on a federal student loan, the US Department of Education
can legally garnish up to 15% of your income without a court order. In
some circumstances, you may be able to work out a voluntary repayment schedule.
Back taxes: The Internal Revenue Service is another agency which does not require a
court order to collect a debt. The percentage of your wages collected
by the IRS can depend on several factors including how many dependents
Child support: The largest percent of your payment maybe withheld for garnishments relating
to child support. Up to 60% of your “disposable” income can
be garnished depending on the status of your dependents.
Wage Garnishment and Your Rights
If you are facing a sizable wage garnishment, it may be difficult to know
when it is best to take action and when to pay the debt. You have rights
which protect you and depending on the type of garnishment that has been
levied, you may want to consider getting an attorney involved.
An attorney may be able to help with situations including:
You are fired over garnished wages: Federal and state laws forbid an employer from taking retaliatory action
against you for an order of wage garnishment. If your employer is threatening
to fire you, or has terminated your employment over garnished wages, contact
You are made to pay a debt you do not owe: If a debt has been filed against you incorrectly, you will need to gather
evidence proving that the debt is not yours to pay or that you have completed
your obligation to pay. Even if garnishment has already begun, a lawyer
may still be able to help.
An excessive monetary amount is being withheld: For garnishment by judgements, federal and state law limits the amount
a creditor can take to (1) 25% of your disposable income or (2) your income
which exceeds 30 times the federal minimum wage (whichever Is lower).
When you have considered your options and are still struggling under the
burden of debt, it may be time to consider bankruptcy. Although there
may be a negative stigma around filing for any chapter of bankruptcy,
in many cases it can be the best option for regaining financial independence.
Bankruptcy can end your obligation to pay off many debts including most
types of wage garnishment. There are certain types of administrative garnishments
which will not be forgiven, such as child support, and an attorney can
help you decide which options are right for you.
Contact a Compassionate Bankruptcy lawyer
If you have received threats from creditors that your wages will be garnished,
our Kansas wage garnishment attorney can provide compassionate legal advocacy
to help defend your rights. We offer
free case evaluations to help you decide on the options which may be right for you, all without
spending a penny.
Call (800) 836-3617 and speak to a lawyer about securing your financial