If you Owe more than $30,000 contact us for a case evaluation at (833) 428-0937
contact us for a free case evaluation at (833) 428-0937
Call us (833) 428-0937

How Much of My Paycheck Can the Government Garnish?

The federal government can garnish up to 15% of your paycheck without first obtaining a civil court judgment. This can strike at the heart of your finances.

Book a Consultation Call

How Much of My Paycheck Can the Government Garnish?

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.

Administrative wage garnishment can hamper your finances.

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 consultation

Contact our office today and one of our attorneys will discuss your matter with you at no cost.

Why Hire Us to Help You with Your Treasury or SBA Debt Problems?

construction accident injury lawyer

Millions of Dollars in SBA Debts Resolved via Offer in Compromise and Negotiated Repayment Agreements without our Clients filing for Bankruptcy or Facing Home Foreclosure

slip and fall attorney

Millions of Dollars in Treasury Debts Defended Against via AWG Hearings, Treasury Offset Program Resolution, Cross-servicing Disputes, Private Collection Agency Representation, Compromise Offers and Negotiated Repayment Agreements

truck accident injury attorney

Our Attorneys are Authorized by the Agency Practice Act to Represent Federal Debtors Nationwide before the SBA, The SBA Office of Hearings and Appeals, the Treasury Department, and the Bureau of Fiscal Service.



Clients borrowed and personally guaranteed an SBA 7(a) loan.  Clients defaulted on the SBA loan and were sued in federal district court for breach of contract.  The SBA lender demanded the Client pledge several personal real estate properties as collateral to reinstate and secure the defaulted SBA loan.  We were subsequently hired to intervene and aggressively defend the lawsuit.  After several months of litigation, our attorneys negotiated a reinstatement of the SBA loan and a structured workout that did not involve any liens against the Client's personal real estate holdings.



Client personally guaranteed SBA 7(a) loan for $350,000. The small business failed but because of the personal guarantee liability, the client continued to pay the monthly principal & interest out-of-pocket draining his savings. Client hired a local attorney but quickly realized that he was not familiar with SBA-backed loans or their standard operating procedures. Our firm was subsequently hired after the client received the SBA's official 60-day notice. After back-and-forth negotiations, we were able to convince the SBA to reinstate the loan, retract the acceleration of the outstanding balance, modify the original terms, and approve a structured workout reducing the interest rate from 7.75% to 0% and extending the maturity date for a longer period to make the monthly payments affordable. In conclusion, not only we were able to help the client avoid litigation and bankruptcy, but we also save him approximately $227,945 over the term of the workout.



Client personally guaranteed SBA 7(a) loan for $150,000. COVID-19 caused the business to fail, and the loan went into default with a balance of $133,000. Client initially hired a non-attorney consultant to negotiate an OIC. The SBA summarily rejected the ineligible OIC and the debt was referred to Treasury’sBureau of Fiscal Service for enforced collection in the debt amount of $195,000. We were hired to intervene and initiated discovery for SBA and Fiscal Service records. We were able to recall the case from Fiscal Service back to the SBA. We then negotiated a structured workout with favorable terms that saves the client approximately $198,000 over the agreed-upon workout term by waiving contractual and statutory administrative fees, collection costs, penalties, and interest.

Read more Case Results

Related Content

Read more sba debt articles