my wages are getting garnished right now and i have another company wanting to either garnish or wipe out my checking account – that would leave me nothing to live on – can they do that

Asked on March 16, 2012 under Bankruptcy Law, Iowa


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Under federal law, the maximum which you could be garnished for most debts is 25% of your disposable income--"disposable" in this context is almost all your income, unfortunately, since it is your gross income less only deductions required by law, like FICA. There are a few debts, like tax debts or child support, which can go higher--garnishments for those can go to 50%, or  even 60%.

However, again, for most debts, the maximum you can be garnished in total, regardless of the number of creditors seeking to garnish, is 25% of your income. So even with another company waiting to garnish your income, you can't have more than that garnished at any one time--though they can seek to use other mechanisms to satisfy the judgment, likee levying on a bank account, executing on personal property, or putting a lien on real estate.

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