What can I do if I believe I am being over garnished?

I received a writ of garnishment for $542.74 after all fees specified in the paperwork. WA state law says they can not take more than 25% of my total income. This is the thrid week of garnishment and I have been adding it up. They have now taken $656.49; $113.75 more than they should have. What are my options at this point? I have no idea how much more they’re going to take since they’ve exceeded the amount that was on the writ.

Asked on December 2, 2011 under Bankruptcy Law, Washington


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

The first issue is: *are* you being overgarnished? You do not indicate what cause of action or claim underlies the garnishment--if it is for a tax debt owed the IRS, or for child or spousal support, note that you may be garnished for more than 25% of your disposable income. (I believe, for example, that the IRS can take up to half, or even 60%, of your income.)

Second, if it does turn that too much is being taken, you may bring a legal action to both adjust the garnishment and also recoup the overpayment; you would most likely bring this by way of a motion to the court which issued the order for garnishment. You can contact the court clerk for information on what to file, where, if you do not want to retain an attorney to help you.

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