What to do if a garnishment company is saying that they cannot garnish my old roommate because he lives out of state?

I have already have 5k garnished from my checks and the total was 10k. So they should be leaving me alone and taking from him. Can they really not garnish him because he lives out of state?

Asked on January 11, 2013 under Bankruptcy Law, Kansas


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

1) Legally, you can garnish the wages  of someone who lives out of state, provided he/she does not live in one of the few states  (like Texas or North Carolina) which do not allow garnishment. It is more complicated, expensive, and time consumming to do.

2) If you and the roommate were both on the lease together, they legally could seek all the money from you, if that is more efficient or desirable for them; either you or your roommate could be required to pay the full amount, and the landlord or collections agency gets to choose who to go after.

3) You, however, may be able to sue your roommate to recover his share of the money. You can sue out of state, but not in small claims court, and it is more expensive and difficult than suing in state.

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