How long after a judgment from a creditor before they start to garnish your wages?


If a garnishment judgment has been issued against your wages, you should be aware that it can begin immediately. Besides Texas, which doesn’t allow the garnishment of pay, your employer, an asset holder or bank can garnish your pay as long as the required documents have been executed.

When Does Garnishment Occur?

Unfortunately, if you are receiving your wages via direct deposit, once they hit your bank account, garnishment can occur. typically, your account will be frozen. Once a freeze occurs, you will be notified of the garnishment, which will usually arrive within 15 days.

Wage Garnishing Laws

All 50 states have their own regulations regarding the garnishment of wages. However, federal law does have some impact as well. A portion of the consumer protection laws created by the federal government plays a role in the percentage of wages that can be garnished. This can be found on the United States Department of Labor website, which is located at It lists who is covered, basic provisions and requirements, employee rights, compliance assistance, penalties and sanctions as well as the relationship between local, state and federal laws.

Federal Garnishment Wage Percentage Limit

Federal law states that only a maximum amount of wages can be garnished from the paycheck that you received from your employer. It is set at the lower of the following:

– Any amount that is greater than 30 times the amount of the federal minimum wage
– 25 percent of the disposable income that you have if you possess disposable income that’s greater than $290

You can determine the figure for your disposable income by subtracting the deductions that are required on the total amount of your paycheck. These are items such as state unemployment insurance taxes, Social Security, state taxes or other retirement deductions that are required. You do not include voluntary deductions such as charitable donations,, life and health insurance or savings plans in this figure.

State Wage Garnishment Limits

In some states, even more protection is offered to you if you have your wages garnished. While many states follow the guidelines mandated by the federal government, some states will allow you to keep more. For example, if you reside in Massachusetts, a typical judgment creditor will only be able to garnish as much is 15 percent of your total wages.

To locate the rules regarding wage garnishment in your state, it’s best to visit the website of your state Department of Labor.