logo Patrick McBurney

Kennewick Wage Garnishment Attorney


Stop Wage Garnishment Now!

Do you feel like your hard-earned money is vanishing before you even see it? Are you trapped in the unrelenting cycle of wage garnishment and don’t know how to stop it? This is an overwhelming place to be, but remember, you don’t have to face it alone. By working with a Kennewick wage garnishment attorney, you can navigate this complex situation with confidence and ease.

For years, our Washington bankruptcy attorney has helped people with wage garnishments. Our Kennewick wage garnishment lawyers know that every case is different, so we tailor our solutions to your specific needs. If you’re looking for help to overcome wage garnishment for unpaid debts, tax arrears, or child support, call McBurney Law now.

What is wage garnishment?

Wage garnishment, sometimes called wage attachment, is a legal process that allows creditors to directly take a portion of your wages to repay a debt. In other words, before your paycheck even lands in your hand, a part of it is already directed toward paying off your outstanding debts. This situation can often lead to financial distress and difficulty managing your daily expenses.

How do creditors garnish my wages?

To be able to garnish wages, a creditor must first get a judgment against you for a debt you owe them. Creditors can do this by suing you for an unpaid debt and winning in court.

Once they have obtained a judgment, they can file for a wage garnishment order. If the court grants this order, it will be sent to your employer, who must withhold a portion of your wages to pay off the debt.

Is there a limit to how much of a wage can be garnished?

The laws governing wage garnishments vary across states. In Washington, certain protections and exemptions are in place to ensure workers are not left penniless due to wage garnishings. For instance, there are limits on the amount that can be garnished from your paycheck and the amount of earnings exempt from garnishment.

The Federal Wage Garnishment Law: Title III of the Consumer Credit Protection Act

At the federal level, Title III of the Consumer Credit Protection Act (CCPA) offers protection to workers by limiting the amount of earnings that may be garnished in any workweek or pay period. This law ensures that workers have sufficient income left to meet their basic needs after a wage garnishment.

For ordinary garnishments (those not for bankruptcy, child support payments, or tax debt), the maximum amount of garnished wages cannot exceed the lesser of these two figures:

  • 25% of your weekly disposable earnings, or
  • the amount by which your weekly disposable earnings exceed 30 times the federal minimum wage.

The federal law on wage garnishment says that the limits on how much of a person’s earnings can be taken do not apply to certain bankruptcy court orders or tax debts. If a state’s law about garnishing wages differs from Title III, the law that takes the least earnings must be followed.

Washington State Garnishment Limits

The state garnishment limits in Washington are similar to the federal limits set by Title III. Using the amount of your disposable earnings, you can calculate the amount of exempt wages based on the type of garnishment.

  • For consumer debt, 80% of disposable earnings or 35 times the state minimum hourly wage (whichever is larger) must be paid to you, the employee. The remaining 20% goes toward the writ of garnishment.
  • For debts other than consumer debt or child support, 75% of disposable earnings or 35 times the federal minimum hourly wage (whichever is greater) must be paid to you, the employee. The 25% left over goes toward the writ of garnishment.

How does garnishing wages affect your financial situation?

Wage garnishment can have far-reaching consequences that extend beyond just the financial aspect. It can also affect your employment and overall well-being. If you’re dealing with a wage garnishment, consulting with a Kennewick wage garnishment attorney can provide you with the resources and support you need to manage its impacts.

Will wage garnishment push me into more debt?

One of the most immediate and noticeable effects of wage garnishment is the financial strain it can cause. When a portion of your earnings is automatically deducted to pay off debts, it reduces your take-home pay. This can make managing regular expenses like housing, food, transportation, and even essential healthcare difficult.

If you’re living paycheck-to-paycheck, wage garnishment can push you into further debt as you might need to rely on credit to cover basic necessities. It can also hinder your ability to save for future goals, whether that’s buying a house, funding education, or saving for retirement.

Will wage garnishments affect my employment?

Contrary to popular belief, federal law prohibits employers from firing employees solely because their wages have been garnished for any single debt. However, the protections cease if your wages are garnished for two or more debts.

Will my coworkers know my wages are garnished?

As a general rule, employers should keep information about garnishments private and only share it with people who need to know, like the person in charge of payroll. This protects your privacy and prevents discrimination at work due to your financial situation.

However, your coworkers or manager may learn about your garnishment. While it isn’t fair to do so, there is a stigma around wage garnishments that can cause fellow employees to view and treat you differently. At worst, it can even negatively affect opportunities for promotions or career advancement.

If this is happening to you due to your wages being garnished, you should reach out to an attorney as soon as possible. Our wage garnishment lawyer in Kennewick, WA, can explore avenues to stop your wages from getting garnished and address any legal concerns you may have.

Why are my wages garnished?

Understanding which types of debts can lead to wage garnishment is crucial in navigating this complex legal issue. Certain types of debt are more likely to result in wage garnishment than others. As a Kennewick wage garnishment attorney can explain, the following types of debts are commonly associated with wage garnishment orders:

Your alimony or child support payments are in arrears.

Child support and alimony debts carry some of the most stringent garnishment rules. In cases of unpaid child support, up to 50% of your disposable earnings can be garnished if you are supporting a spouse or a child who isn’t the subject of the order. If you aren’t supporting a spouse or child, up to 60% of your earnings may be garnished. These percentages can increase by another 5% if the unpaid support is over 12 weeks overdue.

Your student loans are in default.

If you default on your federal student loans, the Department of Education can administratively garnish up to 15% of your disposable income without a court order. However, the amount garnished must leave you with a set minimum payment each week, equivalent to 30 times the federal minimum wage.

You have unpaid taxes.

If you owe back taxes, the IRS and the Washington State Department of Revenue can garnish your wages without a court judgment. The amount that can be garnished varies based on your deduction rate and the number of dependents you have.

You have unpaid credit card debt.

Credit card debt is one of the most common types of consumer debt. If you default on your credit card payments, the credit card company can sue you. They can garnish your wages to collect the debt if they win the lawsuit.

No matter the type of debt you’re dealing with, the team at McBurney Law is ready to assist you. Our Kennewick wage garnishment attorney can help you explore all your options to stop a garnishment and regain financial stability. Remember, the sooner you act, the more chances you will have. Reach out to us today to schedule a consultation.

How Can I Stop Wage Garnishment Immediately?

Stopping wage garnishment immediately can be challenging, but it’s not impossible. There are four ways to stop your wages from being garnished:

Pay off the debt in full.

If you’re in a position to do so, fully repaying your debts can stop the wage garnishment process. However, if your wages are already garnished, you have other options.

Negotiate with creditors.

Negotiating directly with your creditors is one of the first steps to addressing wage garnishment. An experienced attorney can often negotiate a payment plan that fits your budget, potentially reducing the amount you owe or spreading payments out over a more extended period. Usually, creditors may be willing to set up a payment plan that allows you to pay off your debt over time. In many cases, creditors prefer this method over wage garnishment, as it eliminates court involvement and other legal hurdles.

Challenging the Garnishment in Court.

In some cases, you can get the garnishment order reversed by challenging it in court. For instance, if the creditor did not follow proper legal procedures when obtaining the garnishment order, you may have grounds to get the court order revoked. Speak with a Kennewick wage garnishment attorney to determine if this is a legal option for you.

Filing for Bankruptcy

In some cases, filing for bankruptcy can be a viable strategy to stop wage garnishment. When a bankruptcy case is filed, an “automatic stay” is put into effect, halting most collection actions, including garnishments. While bankruptcy should not be taken lightly as it impacts your credit, it can give you the breathing room you need to reorganize your finances.

Remember, dealing with wage garnishment can be stressful, but you don’t have to face it alone. Our Kennewick wage garnishment attorney is ready to help you navigate these tricky waters. Contact McBurney today to explore your options and start on the path toward financial recovery.

Do I Need a Washington Wage Garnishment Lawyer?

While you can try to take measures on your own, many complexities and potential pitfalls are involved in navigating wage garnishment laws. Hiring a Washington wage garnishment lawyer can significantly increase your chances of success and ensure your interests are protected throughout the process.

Whether it’s negotiating with creditors, challenging garnishment in court, or contemplating bankruptcy, McBurney Law can provide the guidance you need. Our mission is to help you reclaim your financial stability and peace of mind. If you’re grappling with wage garnishment, don’t wait. Contact our Kennewick wage garnishment attorney today, and let us help you chart a path toward financial recovery.

Call our Kennewick Wage Garnishment Attorney Now!

Dealing with wage garnishment might seem like an uphill battle, but it becomes a journey toward financial relief with McBurney Law by your side. Our Kennewick wage garnishment attorney is dedicated to ensuring you’re not stumbling in the dark.

But that’s not all we offer. With experience in criminal defense, estate planning, and family law, McBurney Law stands as your compass in various legal areas. Every challenge you face deserves personalized attention, and that’s exactly what we provide.

Change begins with a single step. Let that step be reaching out to McBurney Law. Contact us today.