Is there any way to get a lower payment on a wages garnishment?

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Is there any way to get a lower payment on a wages garnishment?

Can I file to request a lower amount on a writ to garnish my wages? I am single and earn less than $20,000.

Asked on February 16, 2011 under Accident Law, New Mexico

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Under the law in New Mexico, up to 25% of your "disposable wages" can be garnished. Disposable income, however, is defined  more narrowly than you would think--it's all you income after required deductions, like FICA  or court-ordered child support, are taken out. Therefore, 25% of roughly 93% of your income for most people can  be garnished. Alternately, your wages can only be garnished to the extent your weekly wage exceeds 40 times the hourly minimum wage. In NM, I believe that's $7.50  per hour, which means that the amount garnished is the lesser of:

* disposable income, as defined above; or

* weekly income - $300 (since 40 x $7.50 = $300)

Unfortunately, within these parameters, your income can be garnished; you are at the level where you might be able to reduce your garnishment if you can show that by these standards, it ought to be less than it is.


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