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How to Defend Against an Administrative Wage Garnishment Notice

If you've been served an administrative wage garnishment notice, you need to know how to defend yourself. Read on to learn the best defenses.

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How to Defend Against an Administrative Wage Garnishment Notice

Being in debt is never a fun experience, but it is one that most Americans are familiar with. Almost all adult Americans have some form of debt.  Moreover, the type and severity of this debt vary from person to person, but it is a situation that bonds us whether we like it or not.

Administrative Wage Garnishment Notice

If you owe a debt to a government agency, such as the Small Business Administration, you might have an administrative wage garnishment notice sent to you. Garnishment is a legal remedy pursued by the government. If successful, they will be able to  take a percentage of your paycheck each week before it gets to you.

How do you defend yourself against this type of scenario? Read on and we'll walk you through what you need to know about administrative wage garnishment cases.

How Does Administrative Wage Garnishment Work?

You might owe money to a government agency for a number of reasons. For instance, you might've taken a government backed loan out, obtained federal aid, or used government backed school loans. However, the good news is that the government cannot garnish your wages without providing you with a hearing.

In the most basic terms, garnishment is the legal process in which the government requires a third party to turn over money or property that would otherwise be owed to a debtor. In this case, the government has a portion of your wages turned over to them instead of you.

Some people believe the only way to fight wage garnishment is to declare bankruptcy but this isn't true. The law affords you defenses and tactics you can employ to fight the administrative wage garnishment process.

Objecting to Wage Garnishment

The moment you get a garnishment notice in the mail you should move to hire an experienced attorney for your case. It can be difficult to defend yourself against this disruptive legal process, but it isn't impossible with the right help on your side.

An attorney will be able to look at the facts of your case and develop the best possible strategy.  As experienced attorneys, they will know the ins and outs of the law and ensure your paperwork is filed correctly and on time.

However, you only have a very limited amount of time after you receive the notice to request a hearing.

What grounds can you object to wage garnishment?

Defenses Against Wage Garnishment

If you've already paid all the money you owe the government via other means, you should certainly mention it when writing when your objection. The last thing you want is for the government to get more money than they are actually owed.

Also, you can argue that you don't owe the debt.  You and your attorney will have to prove this fact.

A garnishment can be challenged because the amount claimed you owe is incorrect.

Further, you may also object to a garnishment based on the fact that it would cause a financial hardship.


If you file an object formally, you should hear from a government hearing officer within a few weeks about an official hearing. If you fail to timely file a hearing request, a garnishment order will be issued to your employer.

The hearing is a chance for you to present your evidence and arguments in favor of your defenses.

The hearing is usually done by "paper", that is, you do not have to personally appear.  Your attorney submits a legal brief supported by documentation.

How to Defend Against an Administrative Wage Garnishment Notice

It's never fun to receive a garnishment notice in your mailbox.

If you do receive one, it's of the utmost importance that you respond quickly. The above information can help you to determine how to properly defend yourself against a garnishment notice and what next steps you need to take.

Need immediate help with your case? Give us a call anytime or chat with us online for assistance. We'll be able to provide a free case evaluation.

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

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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

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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.



Client personally guaranteed SBA 7(a) loan balance of $58,000.  The client received a notice of Intent to initiate Administrative Wage Garnishment (AWG) Proceedings.  We represented the client at the hearing and successfully defeated the AWG Order based on several legal and equitable grounds.



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.



Client personally guaranteed SBA 7(a) loan balance of over $150,000.  Business failed and eventually shut down.  SBA then pursued client for the balance.  We intervened and was able to present an SBA OIC that was accepted for $30,000.

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