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How wage garnishments work

When consumers in Ohio fall behind on their bills, one route creditors can take to recover the debt is through wage garnishment. This may be a term you have heard on television or in movies, but how does it actually work? Creditors cannot simply take money from you. There is a process that they must follow.

Whether you are a month or a year behind on your bills, creditors must schedule a court hearing for wage garnishment. You will be notified of the time and date; this is your time to state your case and explain why your wages should not be touched. If the courts side with you, creditors will have to resort to other means of debt collection. But if the courts find wage garnishment to be right, your employer will be notified to withhold a portion of your paycheck and instructions for sending it to the creditor.


For most consumer debt, the maximum that can be taken out of your paycheck is 25 percent or 30 times the federal minimum wage, whichever is less. If you are behind on child support, however, you could lose up to 60 percent of your wages. Even if you have three credit card companies trying to garnish your wages, they must wait in line if the first is taking their quarter. You income counts as any money coming in after taxes. The deductions will continue until the debt is paid in full.

If you are facing wage garnishment, you may not be defenseless. A bankruptcy law attorney may be able to help you fight the Ohio courts.

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