Can my wages be garnished for a vehicle debt?

My ex husband and I bought a truck 4 years ago for which we defaulted on the payments about 2 years ago. My ex-husband went to jail not too long after the purchase and we are no longer together. I have no clue where he is. The financial group is suing me for the unpaid balance. plus interest. There are many differences within the paperwork they have since sent me.

Asked on September 13, 2011 under Bankruptcy Law, Missouri


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

You say that you and your ex-husband bought the truck. If you were one of the people who signed for the loan or financing, then the creditor may sue you for the unpaid balance of the loan, plus potentially interest as well. If  they obtain a judgment against you (e.g. win in court, including winning by default, if you don't show up), and you still do not pay the money, they may be able to garnish your wages, subject only to the general limitations on wage garnishment (e.g. only 25% of your after-FICA and other mandatory withholding wages; no garnishment unless your weekly wage is more than 30 times the federal minimum wage, which means no garnishment unless you're enaring more than around $220.00 per week).

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.