Creditors can utilize a writ of garnishment to get a part of a borrower’s income to repay their debt. However, the Law Office of Davis & Jones, P.C. notes that Utah law protects from garnishment by setting a limit that a creditor can take (i.e., 25% can be taken off from your wages).
If you have an order, educate yourself first with the state’s wage garnishment statute.
Wage Garnishment, Defined
Also called wage attachment, wage garnishment is a court order sent to an employer instructing them to withhold a portion of a borrower’s wage and send them to the borrower’s creditor. After obtaining a court judgment, a creditor (“judgment creditor”) can now take wages or some property to repay your debts.
Exceptions to the Rule
A court order may not be needed for garnishing wages when:
- You have unpaid income taxes
- The court orders you to pay child support
- You have unpaid child support
- You have student loan defaults
Limits on Wage Garnishment
Utah, like with federal law, sets a limit on the amount of money that can be garnished from your wages. As per 15 U.S.C. §1673, Utah Code 70C-7-103, and Rule 64D of the Utah Rules of Civil Procedure, a creditor can only take from you:
- 25% of disposable income for that week
- The amount where disposable income for the said week goes over 30 times the federal minimum hourly rate
Some Special Limitations
Special limits do exist. Up to 50% of disposable income can be garnished for child support. For student loan defaults, the Department of Education can get 15% but not over 30 times the minimum wage. Garnishment of unpaid taxes depends on the number of your dependents and the deduction rate.
Wage garnishment orders can be challenging for employers with some resorting to termination instead of compliance. As per federal law, apart from other protections, they are not allowed to terminate you if you only have one garnishment order.
For specific state protections, you can ask your wage garnishment attorney for a more detailed discussion.