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Wage Garnishment New York

Specialists in New York 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 New York?

The amount that may be garnished in New York 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, then 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, then 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, then 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, then the 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. However, even in cases where funds are exempt, you should always try to have the judgment vacated as a vacated judgment eliminates the need for an exemption hearing altogether and will prevent any additional garnishments.


Get help with wage garnishment.