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Wage Garnishment Florida

Specialists in Florida wage garnishment defense.

Wage Garnishment

Have your wages been garnished?

If a judgment has previously been entered against you, a creditor can freeze (a.k.a. garnish or levy) a portion of your wages. This is done by getting a court order directing your employer to withhold a certain percentage of your wages (depending on your income) to repay your debt. However, as with any legal proceeding, there are many rules that govern the method in which they can take certain actions, including garnishments. In order for your wages to be garnished, the creditor must have first obtained a judgment against you.

This is another reason why you must immediately deal with a lawsuit once you are served so that it doesn’t result in a wage garnishment which will limit your ability to make that months’ rent, pay your car payments and utility bills, and still have enough to put food on the table at home. As a former collection attorney who was responsible for the garnishment department in a major collection firm, I used to get heartbreaking phone calls on a weekly basis where someone just forgot to take care of their lawsuit and now they were facing a real crisis. If you don’t immediately and properly object to the garnishment, the creditor will take the maximum amount of money from your wages despite the hardships that it will create at home.

If you feel your wages have been garnished call our office to speak with a debt collection defense attorney. We will find out whether the judgment was properly entered, whether the garnishment was legal and whether you have any exemptions that would protect all or part of the money that they are withholding from your wages. For example, if you were never served with the lawsuit and you first found out about it when your employer started withholding part of your paycheck, you likely have a strong case to removing the judgment entirely. If the judgment and garnishment were properly entered, you still may be able to reduce the amount that is being withheld or dismiss the garnishment in its entirety, or I can help you settle the judgment in its entirety. You need to get professional and experienced debt collection defense attorney to effectively handle this and any other threatening creditors with whom you you may be dealing.

How much can wages be garnished in Florida?

A creditor in Florida is allowed to garnish 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. However, if your disposable income is less than 30 times the federal minimum wage, then they cannot garnish your wages.

If your wages are already being garnished for child support, spousal support or on a different judgment, a creditor may still garnish your wages but only up to 25% of your disposable income. If the previous garnishment is taking the full 25% of your disposable income, then the creditor can obtain an order to start garnishing your account after the preceding garnishment pays off the judgment.

However, Florida has a very debtor-friendly head of household exemption that can help you avoid a wage garnishment if you qualify for the exemption. If you qualify, the court will dismiss the garnishment and no money will be garnished from your wages. It is critical that prior to going to an exemption hearing that you understand the specific requirements to qualify for the head of household exemption.

Get help with wage garnishment.

Law Offices of Joseph I Harrison