If you are facing garnishment, you will get a Writ for Garnishment. Your creditor filed it to get a judgment paid by the garnishee. If your creditor files a garnishment against your bank account, your bank is the garnishee. If your paycheck is being garnished, your employer is the garnishee. Read An Overview of Garnishments to learn about more about garnishments.
If there is a problem with the garnishment, you can object to it. You can't object to the garnishment because you disagree with the judgment or with anything that happened in the case that led to the judgment.
There are several reasons you can object to your garnishment. Each one is explained in the sections below.
There is a Mistake in the Writ
A mistake in the writ is a common reason to object. Check to see if the writ is correct, including:
- The judgment amount
- The date of the judgment
- The interest that has added up
- The costs that have added up
- The payments and credits applied
- The amount of the judgment now due
The Money Was Exempt From Garnishment
Something is exempt from garnishment if it can’t legally be garnished. Read Garnishment Exemptions to learn what money is exempt from garnishments.
You have an Installment Payment Plan
If you have a court-ordered installment payment plan and you’re current on your payments, your wages can't be garnished. Read Getting An Installment Payment Plan to learn more about this.
The Maximum Amount Is Already Being Garnished From Your Paycheck
There is a limit to how much of your paycheck can be garnished. If one creditor is taking the limit, another creditor can't garnish more. Read An Overview of Garnishment to learn more.
You Paid the Judgment
If you have paid the judgment, including costs and interest, your creditor cannot collect any more money from you.
If you’ve filed for bankruptcy or the debt has been discharged through bankruptcy, you can't be garnished. When you start a bankruptcy case, your creditors are notified and they can’t garnish you while it’s pending. Creditors also can’t garnish you to pay a debt that’s already been discharged in bankruptcy.
Filing your Objection
You can use the Do-It-Yourself Objection to Garnishment tool if you have a reason to object to the garnishment. There is no cost to file an objection to a garnishment.
You must file your objection with the court within 14 days of getting the notice of garnishment to stop the garnishment. For more information, read the instructions in I'm Being Garnished for a Debt That Is Not Child Support.
If you file your objection more than 14 days after you get the notice, your money will be garnished while your objection is being considered. Money will be taken from your bank account or your paycheck to pay the creditor. If the judge agrees with your objection, the creditor should return your money.
A hearing will be set within the 21 days after you file the objection. At the hearing, a judge will decide if they agree with your objection.
If the judge agrees with your objection, your money will not be garnished. If garnishment already happened, the creditor should return your money to you. This may take a while. If the judge does not agree with your objection, your creditor will get to keep the money it has collected, or start the garnishment.
You can file a Motion for Installment Payments to prevent another garnishment of your paycheck. To learn more, please see Requesting and Installment Payment Plan to Pay a Judgment.