Wage Garnishments

New York City Wage Garnishment Attorney

How to Handle an Income Execution in New York

Wage garnishment is the process of deducting money from an individual’s income. Wage garnishment occurs when a court or the government orders an employer to set aside some of an employee’s earnings to pay a debt. The amount that may be garnished for a private debt varies according to the employee’s income. Private debts include credit cards, medical bills, bank loans, and private student loans.

The amount that may be garnished depends on an individual’s income. The amount garnished for a private debt varies as follows:

  • If your disposable income is less than $240.00 per week, all of your earned income is exempt from debt collection and your wages cannot be garnished.
  • If your disposable income is between $240.00 and $290.00 per week the creditor may garnish the lesser of what is earned over $240.00 per week or 10% of your gross income.
  • If your disposable income is greater than $290.00 per week the creditor may garnish the lesser of 10% of your gross income or 25% of your disposable income.
  • If your wages are already being garnished for child support or spousal support, a creditor may still garnish your wages but only up to 25% of your disposable income.

Disposable income is the amount of money that is earned after deductions are made for taxes, Social Security, and unemployment insurance. Gross income is the amount of money earned before any deductions are made.

Wage garnishing begins with a debt collection lawsuit. The creditor must obtain a court ordered judgment in order to garnish a borrower’s wages. Once the judgment is entered, the creditor will send the wage garnishment notice, or income execution notice, to a New York City Marshal. The Marshall must serve a copy of the income execution on the borrower within twenty days. Upon service, the borrower has twenty days to resolve the matter before garnishment will begin. If this does not occur, the marshal will serve the income execution on the borrower’s employer. The employer will then begin sending 10% of the borrower’s gross earnings to the marshal.

Stopping Wage Garnishment

If you receive a wage garnishment notice, attempting to vacate the judgment against you would likely be the best option. Even if your wages are already being garnished to pay a private debt, you may still be able to vacate the judgment against you. The best way to stop wage garnishment is through a vacated judgment. If this is done properly the creditor will no longer have the ability to garnish your wages because the judgment which allows them to do so has been removed. The judgment should also no longer appear on your credit report. In the event that the judgment is vacated, the court can also order the creditor to return money it took previously to pay the debt.

If you decide not to attempt to vacate the judgment, you may ask the court to modify the garnishment. In order to modify the order, you must bring a copy of the income execution to the court and file an order to show cause with the court clerk. The court will expect an explanation as to why the current garnishment is too high and will expect proof of your income, rent, bills, and monthly expenses. As this is a complicated process, it is highly advisable to retain an experienced debt attorney to assist you in the wage garnishment modification or vacated judgment process.

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