Last Updated on May 11, 2022 by Fair Punishment Team
A question that you might find yourself asking and not knowing the answer to is: how would you know or how would you be able to find out who is garnishing your wages? This might be something that you are wondering about if you have noticed a decrease in your paycheck.
Naturally, you will want to know why all of a sudden your paycheck has gone down from essentially nowhere. It is true that discrepancies in earnings can come from wage garnish from creditors or even from the IRS.
For instance, if you are someone who has been struggling with debt then your creditors might have even resorted to automatically deducting a percentage of your earnings out of your paycheck.
In a lot of cases you will have received notice of this, but it is important to note that there are actually certain instances where garnishment might actually come as a shock. That is why we are here, to outline who exactly could be garnishing your wages.
Let’s Talk Child Support And Alimony
It is true that since the year of 1988, all of the child support or the alimony orders will automatically include a wage withholding order. What does this entail? Well, this means that if you are someone who has been ordered to pay child support then your wages could end up being garnished without any additional court action being required.
What About Unpaid Income Taxes?
So, if you are someone who is owing taxes to the Irs, or even if you are someone who owes taxes to your state and your local government, then your wages can end up being garnished without a court order against you being obtained.
How much can they garnish from your wages? Well, this all actually depends on the amount of dependents that you have, along with your deduction amounts and also the stat law which is regarding your wage garnishment limits.
Taking A Look At Student Loans
If you are in a position where you are behind on your federal student loan repayments then the United States Department of Education, or even any kind of entity who is collecting on its behalf, can garnish your wages without having a court order. This is a process that is referred to as administrative garnishment.
Usually A Court Order Will Be Needed
For any other kinds of garnishments, a court order is usually needed in order for your wages to be garnished. Unless you are of course owing child support, or taxes, or student loan repayments, then this will mean that anyone else who you might owe money can’t garnish your wages without having a court order.
For instance, if you have defaulted on a loan, or if you have stopped paying your credit card bill, or if you have just run up some huge medical bills then your creditors can’t just begin to garnish your wages. They will first of all have to sue you, and then win, and then get a court order which will mean that you have to pay back what you owe.
How Can You Find Out Who Is Garnishing Your Wages?
You will be pleased to know that there are a few different ways where you can gain an insight into who is garnishing your wages.
The easiest way to find this out is if you are noticing that your paycheck is a lot lower than usual, and you are suspecting some sort of wage garnishment, then you can look through your paycheck to work out where these deductions have been made.
You can look for ‘other’ or even ‘miscellaneous’ on your paycheck and this will help you to really work out if any wage garnishment has occurred. It is also important to review whether you have been involved in a debt-collection lawsuit, or if you are owing the IRS money then they will probably be collecting the money due.
Also, your employer is actually required to provide you with a copy of the garnishment paperwork and so, you should request that the payroll department forwards this to you. It is pretty clear that if they are taking money out of your paycheck then they should really give you a copy of the documents.
You also need to make sure that you review any sort of past correspondence with creditors, and you might even find a reference to wage garnishment which has been overlooked. Requesting a credit report as soon as you can will also be critical in working out where the wage garnishments have come from.
Lastly, you can also get in touch with the Internal Revenue Service so that you can find out whether your wages are actually being garnished. You should have received a garnishment notice from them in this case.
What About Differing State Laws?
It is important to remember that garnishment policies will actually differ pretty widely from each state. Not only that, but garnishment policies will vary from bank to bank too. This is why we can’t stress the importance of knowing your state’s laws on the matter enough. Additionally, wage garnishment will be allowed in all states for unpaid taxes and also for child support.
Overall, we understand that going up against creditors can be super scary – and also trying to work out why your wages have been garnished can be a daunting task in itself. This is not a task that you need to deal with by yourself, in fact, an attorney will be able to help you navigate any confusion that you have over your wages being garnished.
If you are not sure where to get started with working out why your wages have been garnished, then this should have helped you to map out why exactly this has happened.
However, if you have combed through your paychecks and still can’t work out why your wages have been garnished then your employer – or the payroll department will be able to give you more information on this. If you’re still confused then an attorney will be able to help you.