Is it illegal for a lawyer to garnish more than 25% of my income?

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Is it illegal for a lawyer to garnish more than 25% of my income?

I been sued regarding an apartment that I was renting. I was making monthly payments but had to stop due to economic hardship. They put a garnishment against me to take all my income (every penny that I earned). I’m in the process of getting put out of my home if I can’t pay my rent due to 100% garnishment. I will be homeless and have no where to go. I can’t live off of 0 income, I work 80 hours bi-weekly and my whole check goes to the lawyer. I need legal advice on how to handle this matter.

Asked on April 30, 2012 under Bankruptcy Law, Maryland

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

There are forms that one whose assets have been garnished to file with the court (claims of exemption) to try and stop a garnishment by a creditor. Under most state statutes, the amount of net income per pay check that can be garnished as to a debor is 25 % of the net pay check per each pay period.

However, the entirety of bank and checking acounts of a judgment debtor would be subject to a levy and objected to by a claim of exemption.

If there is a legal aid program in your county, I suggest that you consult with it for further advice on your matter and to assist you in filling out the claim of exemption. You have strict time lines in filing any claim of exemption running from the time you are served with the wage garnishment.


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