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How much of your income can you lose to wage garnishment?

Like so many other residents of Ohio, you may find yourself struggling to pay off an increasing amount of debt. Maybe your debt accumulated quickly because of an unforeseen medical situation, or maybe you got in over your head as far as credit card bills. Regardless of how your debt accrued, if you are behind enough on your payments, you may have a portion of your wages garnished.

Garnishing, per Nerdwallet, can occur if a creditor obtains a judgment against you that requires your employer to withhold a portion of your earnings until the creditor receives everything it is due. Wage garnishment is also surprisingly common, with one report indicating that it happens to about 7 percent of workers every year.

So, just how much do you stand to lose to wage garnishment? Ultimately, this will depend on the type of debt you accrued. If, for example, your debt is of the credit card variety, or if it involves medical bills, you can stand to lose either 25 percent or the amount by which your weekly earnings exceed 30 times the federal minimum wage – whichever amount is less.

If your debt involves student loans, meanwhile, your employer will have to hold 15 percent of your earnings until your creditors receive what you owe them. If your wage garnishment is occurring because of a failure to pay child support or alimony, you could potentially lose up to 60 percent of your paycheck. Filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy will, in most cases, put an end to the garnishment by creating what is known as an automatic stay.

This information about wage garnishment is educational in nature and not a substitute for legal advice.

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