Debt >  Wage Garnishments
Can a Creditor or Debt Collector Garnish My Wages?

Whether a creditor can or cannot garnish your wages is governed by the laws in your state.  Each state has enacted laws setting forth which property is protected from creditors and which property can be seized by creditors.  A few states do not allow any wage garnishment whatsoever, but even those states that do regulate how much can be garnished from a person's wages in order to allow that person to have something left over to live on, although most people have a hard time living on what is left over after their wages are garnished.  There is also federal legislation regulating wage garnishments. Your particular state might follow the federal guidelines.

Note that wage garnishment laws do not usually apply when you owe money to the state or federal government.  Therefore, even if you live in a state that prohibits wage garnishments, such as Texas, you can have your wages garnished to repay a student loan or child support. In fact, almost all states vigorously pursue money owed to them in the form of student loan repayments, taxes or child support.

Credit card companies, hospitals, debt collectors and others will also seek a wage garnishment to recover debt provided that it is legal for them to do so in the state where the debtor resides and the debt is sufficient enough to warrant a wage garnishment.
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Wage Garnishments
A good way to avoid most wage garnishments (except those regarding taxes, alimony, student loans and child support) is to file bankruptcy.  Filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy will immediately stop a wage garnishment in progress and cancel out any existing wage garnishments, provided that the court allows that debt to be discharged.

See:  Automatic Stays