Garnishment Letter of Non-Compliance

A garnishment letter can take money out of your paycheck.

A garnishment letter of non-compliance is issued by the court when an individual refuses to pay money he owes. Most garnishments come directly from the person's paycheck, though they can also come from his bank account or against his car.

Garnishment Letter of Non-Compliance

If you are the human resource manager or owner of a company, you may receive a garnishment letter of non-compliance for an employee at some point in your career. Even if this has never happened, it is smart to be prepared to handle the request when it does come up.

Likewise, as an employee whose wages are garnished, make sure you understand your options.

Situations When Garnishment Can Occur

A variety of different reasons exist that may spawn the receiving of a garnishment letter of non-compliance. If you receive a letter, it means someone has filed a judgment against you requiring you to pay them what you owe. This usually happens if you have not paid them in a timely manner or are ignoring bills and warnings.

Examples of reasons you may be issued a garnishment letter include:

  • Bill that has not been paid, such as a medical or lawyer bill
  • IRS for unpaid taxes
  • Winnings from a lawsuit you lost and still have not paid
  • Child support and back payments
  • Anyone who you owe money to whom has a court order

Receiving a Letter for an Employee

If you receive a garnishment letter for your employees for wage garnishment, your responsibility is to make sure that the proper amount is deducted from his paycheck and turned into the proper authorities. This may mean more paperwork for you.

It will help for you to fully understand the different situations that can warrant a letter of garnishment.

Sending a Notice to Your Employee

Though your employee should have received a notice or be aware that his check is going to be garnished, protect yourself by sending him a formal memo explaining what is going to happen.The letter should include:

  • Date
  • The employee's name
  • Social security number
  • Description of why he/she is getting the notice.
  • Who is requesting the garnishment (such as a court, a corporation, or the state)
  • Percent to be deducted and how often
  • When the deductions will begin and how long they will last
  • How to stop the garnishments

Example of an Employee Letter

(Date)

Attn: Employee Bob Social Security #

Dear Employee Bob:

This notice is to inform you that the Court has required that your check is garnished to make up for past due and current child support payments. The court is requiring us, as your employer, to garnish 30 percent of your wages every paycheck until January 31, 2008. Beginning February 1, 2008, we will garnish 25 percent of your wages.

Garnishment percentages include any raises or bonuses you may receive.

We will begin deducting 30 percent from your weekly paycheck on August 10, 2007.

The garnishment will continue until we receive notice from the court that your commitment is fulfilled or alternative arrangements have been made.

If you have any questions regarding the amount or would like to stop the garnishments, please contact the clerk of courts for a release.

Sincerely,

Your Boss or Human Resources Director

Protected Income

Not all income is subject to garnishment. Your income is safe if it comes from:

  • Social Security benefits
  • Retirement plan benefits
  • Public assistance benefits

As long as your garnishment is not coming from child or spousal support, the following is protected:

  • Workers' compensation
  • Unemployment benefits
  • Disability benefits

Garnishing Your Bank Account

If you are considering trying to avoid a garnishment by working under the table, the courts have ways around it. A garnishment can be issued against your bank account. If this happens, the bank will freeze your account and report your assets to the court. Unless the debtor has a good reason not to pay the bill, the money is then paid out.

Fighting a Garnishment

If feel you have received a non-compliance garnishment letter in error or that you cannot pay it for a legit reason, you can fight the garnishment. You will need to go to the court who issued the garnishment.

Some situations where the garnishment may be waived include:

  • Alternative arrangements are made to pay the debt
  • Your income or hourly wage (below minimum wage) is not substantial enough to pay off the debt
  • You can present a good reason why the garnishment should not occur
  • You filed bankruptcy (consult the new bankruptcy law)

Don't be afraid to consult with an attorney if you feel you are unjustly targeted. Most lawyers will not charge you for an initial consultation.

Garnishment Letter of Non-Compliance