For complete results, select the county where you live or where your case is filed:

Select county

Garnishment Exemptions


    Some assets and income cannot be garnished. They are exempt from garnishment. Your creditor can’t take those funds from your bank account to collect money you owe it. If none of your income is exempt, a creditor can take all the money in your bank account. To learn about garnishments generally, read the article An Overview of Garnishments.

    If any of your exempt income is being garnished you can file an objection. If you file it quickly, you may be able to stop the garnishment. Read the article Objecting to Garnishments to find out when and how to object.

    Income exempt from garnishment

    Generally, money from these sources cannot be garnished:

    • Social Security benefits and disability payments
    • Supplemental Security Income (SSI) payments
    • Student loan disbursements
    • VA Benefits
    • General Assistance Benefits
    • Family Independence Program (FIP) grants
    • Food Assistance Program (FAP)
    • Electronic Benefits Transfers (EBT)
    • State Disability Assistance
    • Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs)
    • Student loans, grants, or work assistance
    • Unemployment Compensation benefits
    • Worker’s Compensation benefits
    • Cash value of life insurance policies that are payable to your spouse or children
    • Income benefits under the Michigan Civil Service Act
    • Income benefits under the Michigan Retirement Act
    • U.S. Civil Servant Retirement benefits
    • Pensions covered by ERISA

    There are some exceptions to that list. For example:

    • Social security disability and retirement benefits can be garnished to pay federal taxes, child support, and alimony;
    • SSI payments can’t be garnished under any circumstances;
    • Pension income can be garnished once it’s in your bank account.

    Income from the other sources listed above stays exempt once it’s in your bank account, but it's best to avoid putting it in the same bank account with non-exempt income. Read the article Commingling of Funds to learn more.

    If you need to file an objection to a garnishment, read the article Objecting to Garnishments. Then you can use the Do-It-Yourself Objection to Garnishment to create an objection you can file with the court.