The prospect of wage garnishment is undoubtedly a scary one for most people. If you are in debt and your wages are subject to garnishment, you need an experienced attorney on your side representing you every step of the way. The skilled bankruptcy and wage garnishment lawyers at JLT law regularly represent clients who are not sure where to turn in these situations. It is important to realize that in all bankruptcy and wage garnishment cases, you have legal options.
Utah Wage Garnishment Law
A wage garnishment – otherwise known as a ‘wage attachment’ – is a court order that is directed toward a debtor’s employer. The wage garnishment requires your employer to take a portion of your wages and withhold them from your paycheck. This withholding must then be sent to your creditor and applied toward your outstanding debt or debts.
In order for your creditor to be able to obtain a wage garnishment order, he or she must first file a lawsuit against you for the debt owed and obtain a judgment from the court. The creditor can then execute the judgment against you by asking the court to garnish your wages.
Common Reasons for Wage Garnishment
Some of the most common reasons for wage garnishment in Utah include the following:
- Court-ordered child support
- Child support arrearages
- Defaulted student loans
- Unpaid income taxes
Limits on Wage Garnishment Under Utah Law
Upon obtaining a judgment from the court, a creditor may be entitled to garnish a portion of your wages. However, the creditor is not legally permitted to take all of your wages. In the State of Utah, the maximum amount of your wages that is subject to garnishment is as follows:
- 25% of your weekly after-tax earnings (i.e. net earnings); or
- The amount by which your weekly net earnings exceed the federal minimum wage by 30 times
Moreover, under Utah law, only 25% of your wages may ordinarily be subject to garnishment – regardless of how many creditors you have. One possible exception is if you owe back child support.
If you are faced with wage garnishment, it is important to understand that you always have legal options. For example, you may be able to work out a repayment plan with your creditor or declare a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy.
Contact a Salt Lake City, Utah Wage Garnishment Attorney Today to Discuss Your Case
If you are in debt and facing the threat of a lawsuit or wage garnishment, an experienced attorney can explain your legal options to you and help you obtain relief. The knowledgeable bankruptcy and wage garnishment lawyers at JLT Law are ready and willing to assist you with your case. You should feel free to contact Attorney Jory L. Trease at any time by phone or online.