It isn't easy when someone owes you money and refuses to pay. In some cases you can garnish the debtor's wages with his or her employer to help get the payments you are owed. However, even with a court order to garnish wages, it doesn't always mean the employer will follow through. In that case, you may want to send a letter pointing out that the company is not in compliance with the garnishment order.
Example Garnishment Non-Compliance Letter
Sometimes, you can get the ball rolling by sending a letter of non-compliance to the employer, along with copies of previously sent garnishment paperwork. If you are not sure what to include in the letter, click the image below to download a template that you can use as a starting point. See this guide to printables if you need help with the document.
Customizing the Sample Letter
After you have downloaded the letter, you can click anywhere in the document to add your own information.
- At the top left, enter the employer's name and address, including an 'Attn:' line for the Human Resources department, which is usually where a company's garnishments are handled.
- After entering the date, be sure to include the employee's name and social security number, so the company is clear on who the letter is referencing.
- Type the person's name you are contacting (if you have it), followed by the company name on the next line, the street address on the next, followed by a line that includes the city, state and zip code.
- Add your salutation. Include the person's name in Human Resources if you have it.
- Begin the letter referencing the employee whose wages should be garnished, the debt and the person who is owed the debt. Your Writ of Garnishment/Execution should have already been served by the county's Sheriff, so you can include those details as well.
- Continue with the consequences of failing to comply with a garnishment order.
- Close the letter, adding your name and signature and mail it Certified Mail Return Receipt Requested to the employer's human resources department along with copies of the garnishment documentation, which varies according to where you live. Documents might include:
- Request for Garnishment of Wages
- Writ of Garnishment or Writ of Execution
- Wage Garnishment Order (or other order signed by the judge)
- Use the toolbar commands to save and print.
- Make sure you keep copies of the letter and documents, as well as the receipt of mailing, for your records.
What to Expect
In most cases, the employer will comply with the garnishment order, unless the employee has claimed that he or she is exempt from the garnishment. Reasons for non-compliance with a garnishment may include:
- The employer is ignoring the garnishment to give the employee time to address it.
- The employer hasn't received the appropriate documentation.
- The employer has simply misplaced or forgotten to garnish the wages.
In any event, if the Writ of Garnishment has been served and the employer hasn't followed through with garnishing the employee's wages, the employer could face serious consequences.
Consequences of Garnishment Non-Compliance
Depending on the state you live in, non-compliance can result in serious consequences. For example, employers who are non-compliant with a garnishment order can be held in contempt of court, resulting in expensive fines or even jail time. In some cases, the employer can also be held responsible for the debt owed to the creditor, as well as any attorney's fees and expenses that follow. Reminding the employer of these consequences can sometimes influence the company to take action.
If the employer still fails to comply after you send the letter and you don't receive an answer or a claim of exemption from the garnishment, you may need to hire an attorney. A qualified attorney can follow through with filing a default judgment against the employer or help you move forward with other necessary court proceedings.