Is there a statute of limitations on a garnishment?

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Is there a statute of limitations on a garnishment?

Approximately 11 years ago, my husband received letter stating that he was to be garnished for a medical bill. We never noticed that any money was taken from his paycheck, but being less responsible then, we thought that we’d just overlooked it (or there was a mistake in our favor) so never questioned it. We have always owed a small amount to the state at tax season. The past 2 years, since I have quit working, the state has owed us. We have now received a Request For Income Information and notice that the refund would be withheld for the debt. We don’t want this on his credit report again.  In MI.

Asked on March 2, 2011 under Bankruptcy Law, Michigan

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

The statute of limitations on garnishment is the statute of limitions on enforcing judgments in Michigan. It appears that the statute of limitations in normally 10 years in your state, BUT it can be renewed for an additional 10 years, as long as it is renewed prior to it expiring. Therefore, it may well be the case that you are still within the time period during which a creditor can try to collect, including by garnishment, either because (depending on the exact timing) the first 10 year period has not expired or because it was renewed. If there's enough at stake (say more than $1,000 or $1,500, you should consult with an attorney to see if you can fight this; if the amount is less than that, it may make sense to pay, or at least try to settle for some amount, as long as you basically agree it's a valid debt.


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