Wage garnishments are a way that the government or – in some cases – lenders and other creditors can retain the money that they are owed. That money is taken from the worker’s paycheck. The garnishment is the percentage that has been deducted. A court will not order them lightly. They have to be sure that it is justified because of the financial impact on the person to whom the garnishment is applied.
What is important about garnishments is that they are deducted before that worker is paid. Say that the garnishment is for $50 and a worker tends to make $1,000 every two weeks. Instead, they would be paid $950 and the garnished wages would be sent to the creditor.
Why is this important?
This is critical to the process because it means that the person who owes the money no longer has any say in whether or not it gets paid off. If there was a court order saying that they had to pay a certain amount out of every paycheck and they were then required to do so after cashing their check, they could theoretically miss those payments. They may be willing to violate the court order. But that is impossible with wage garnishment because the money has already been deducted when the worker gets paid, so there’s no way for them to get around it.
Approaching issues with outstanding debt
When someone owes an outstanding debt and has refused to pay or failed to do so, it can be very frustrating and complicated. Wage garnishments are only one tool that may be used. It’s important for those involved to understand all of the legal options they have.