Wage Garnishment

Kentucky Wage Garnishment Attorneys

At some point, misfortune strikes everyone. When that misfortune involves financial difficulties, things become complicated. If you have massive debt, one way the court gets the money you owe is wage garnishment. In this case, the court orders a certain amount of money to be removed from your paycheck – before you get it – for a variety of reasons, whether to pay back taxes, for child support or for other reasons. In these situations, it’s best to have legal representation to know your rights and options.

Let Us Help

If you’ve had your wages garnished for any reason, contact Bunch & Brock, Attorneys at Law, and let us help. For more than 35 years, we’ve been proud to serve our community’s legal needs, with clients ranging from large corporations to individuals. We will evaluate your situation and help you find what is best for both you and your business. Operating out of offices in Lexington, Ky., We have the knowledge, experience and resources to help. If you have questions about how we can help you or if you wish to set up an appointment, contact us online or call us today at 859.254.5522.

What is Wage Garnishment?

Wage garnishment is when the court orders a portion of your paycheck to be used to pay money you owe. It is far more common than most people assume and can happen to people of any socioeconomic class. According to Automatic Data Processing (ADP), a company that specializes in human resources software and services, including payroll, roughly 9.5 million people, or about 7.2 percent of American workers, have their wages garnished. Without legal help, garnishment can be financially debilitating. However, there are rules, and you can go to court to argue your case. According to The Balance, an online journal of financial experts, there are generally two limits on the maximum that may be withheld from your paycheck:

  • 25% of your disposable income if it’s greater than $290.
  • Any amount greater than 30 times the federal minimum wage, or $217.50.

Generally, the best option is to retain an attorney, who will explain your situation, describe your options, keep you in compliance with the law and allow you to keep as much of your own hard-earned money as possible.

Most Common Reasons for Wage Garnishment in Kentucky

Wage garnishment may happen for several reasons: Child Support – More than any other, this is by far the most common reason for wage garnishment. According to ADP, child support accounts for more than 40 percent of wage garnishments in the United States. The amount of child support is generally set by the court; if the parent charged with paying does not meet his or her obligations, then the parent who is not receiving the income may take legal action. At that point, a court may order garnishment of the truant parent’s wages in order to make sure child support is paid in full and any back payments are caught up. In contrast to most garnishments, which allow roughly 25 percent of net wages to be taken, in child support cases the percentage may go as high as 60 percent, according to legal information site NOLO.

Tax Debts – The second largest reason for wage garnishments, according to ADP, is tax debt. If you owe but don’t pay federal taxes, eventually the Internal Revenue Service will notice. According to NOLO, unlike other creditors, the IRS does not have to get a court order to garnish your wages; instead they may start taking money without a court order, and at a higher percentage than other creditors. However, before garnishment, the IRS will offer a variety of options to allow you to pay off your debt.

Bankruptcy – ADP estimates that the third largest reason for wage garnishment is bankruptcy. As a general rule, filing for bankruptcy puts a stay on all collection processes. However, there are exceptions. The two largest exceptions are if your wages are being garnished for student loans or child support. Because of the ways the laws are set up, those two categories are generally exempt from being halted because of bankruptcy proceedings. However, bankruptcy will stop, or at least stay, most other garnishments.

If you or a loved one is experiencing garnishment, or if you fear your wages may be garnished in the future, contact Bunch & Brock, Attorneys at Law today. With more than 35 years of experience from their offices in Lexington, Ky., Bunch & Brock has the knowledge, resources and experience to assist you with your legal needs. If you have legal questions or would like to set up an appointment, contact us online or call us today at 859.254.5522.