Collecting My Judgment Using Wage Garnishment

One of the most effective things I have learned concerning how to collect my judgments has been the use of wage garnishments. Garnishing wages has proven to be a great tool for successfully enforcing my judgments.

It goes without saying that you must know where my judgment debtor is employed in order to use this procedure.

Wage Garnishing is allowed in most every state and jurisdiction. It is obviously necessary to check the statutes and rules of the jurisdiction so that this procedure can be used simply, effectively, and legally. In most states it doesn’t cost much in fees to do this type of garnishment.

There can be a few main hindrances to successfully garnishing. It is important to be aware of these. Generally a garnishment is only allowed on 25% or less of an employee’s wages. There can be a limit of only one wage garnishment being allowed on any employee at a time. If I check and find a garnishment is already in place, I may have to wait my turn until the other garnishment runs out. If a garnishment for child support is involved, that garnishment is superior to my garnishment. Another hindrance is if my judgment debtor is self-employed. Sometimes a debtor will quit his job if a wage garnishment is put in place. This forces me to do a new garnishment on the debtor’s new employer or else employ some other tactic to get paid on my judgment. Depending on the jurisdiction, I have to always be knowledgeable of the minimum wage requirements which must be met before my debtor’s wages are subject to garnishment. Finally, if I get a notice that my debtor has filed for bankruptcy, I cannot get paid on a garnishment, and I have to immediately stop all collection efforts. Though there are a few possible road blocks to doing a successful wage garnishment, it is a viable method of getting my money in many judgment collection situations.

Once a Writ of Execution (or other appropriate form) is in the hands of the Sheriff or Levying Officer, they do all the work. They serve the papers on the employer, they collect the wage witholdings from the employer, and they pay me what I am supposed to be paid.

Just about anyone would be angry and embarrassed if their employer is served with papers to garnish the employee’s wages. Once this happens I can just about expect a noticeable change in the attitude of my judgment debtor. Sometimes the change is positive and sometimes negative. If positive, then I might get his cooperation is settling the judgment debt or he might for the first time express a willingness to arrange a way to completely pay the judgment debt. If the attitude change is negative, there are times when the fact of having wages garnished may push the debtor to seek bankruptcy relief, or to pursue new employment elsewhere.

If the debtor’s employer is known or can be found out (as is usually the case), I like the success that can be experienced if I know how to collect my judgment using wage garnishment.

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