The federal government can garnish up to 15% of your paycheck.
The administrative wage garnishment process allows the government to take a portion of your paycheck without first obtaining a civil court judgment. As such, the SBA or other creditor agency must give your notice thirty days in advance and an opportunity to request a hearing or negotiate a payment plan. Courts have interpreted the six-year statute of limitations for actions for money damages as applicable only to lawsuits filed in court. It does not apply to non-judicial collection methods, such as administrative wage garnishment.
Unless you agree in writing to a higher amount, the government can garnish your disposable pay up to 15%. Federal law also limits total garnishments to 25% of disposable pay. Therefore, if you have other garnishments, the total of all garnishments including the federal government, cannot exceed 25%.
"Disposable pay" means your pay after the deduction of health insurance premiums and any amount required by law to be withheld. Such amounts include Social Security taxes, withholding taxes, Medicare, etc.
Therefore, if you had a previous garnishment of 15% in place and then the government obtained an administrative wage garnishment order against you, the administrative wage garnishment would be limited to an additional 10% of your income.
Taking 15% of your pay check can really affect your ability to pay your bills, raise your kids and save for retirement.
What Can I Do to Prevent an Administrative Wage Garnishment?
As soon as you receive the notice of intended administrative wage garnishment you must request a hearing. Alternatively, you can contact the Treasury and arrange for a payment plan. If you request a hearing timely, an administrative wage garnishment cannot start until you've had a chance to present your case. If you fail to submit a hearing request in a timely matter, the administrative wage garnishment will start.
What Defenses Do I Have?
Going forward, you may present evidence that you don't owe the debt, the debt is not enforceable or the amount of the debt is incorrect. Also, you may present evidence that an administrative wage garnishment would be a financial hardship if implemented. Lastly, if you were involuntarily terminated from your previous job and have been currently employed for less than 12 months, a wage garnishment cannot proceed.
How Do I Present My Defenses?
You will need to file a brief with facts, evidence and legal support for your position as well as financials if you claim financial hardship. To that end, our assertive attorneys have represented clients all over the country in administrative wage garnishment hearings. Protect Law Group has the experience obtaining the necessary evidence and presenting your defenses.
Contact Protect Law Group for Your Free Consultation
Contact our office today and one of our attorneys will discuss your matter with you at no cost.