Wage garnishment

Wage Garnishment

  • By Leigh C. Taylor, LIT

When you owe money, a creditor can sue you through the courts, resulting in what’s called a “wage garnishment.”

What is a wage garnishment?

What is a wage garnishment exactly? It’s when a creditor sues you to take money – typically the money you make from working – to repay a debt.

A wage garnishment order normally goes to your employer. But if you are self-employed, it can go to your bank or even to your customers.

It’s usually a last resort attempt to collect after several unsuccessful attempts to get you to pay.

It’s a harsh way to get your attention…and to collect money you owe.

How are your wages garnished?

Wage garnishment is a simple process.

First, your creditors secure a court date. Then, in court, the creditor presents evidence that you owe the money. If they make their case, a judgement is granted for a specific amount against you – the garnishee.

How do I know that I’m being garnished?

You’ll know what’s happening because, when the creditor gets a court date, they must notify you. They’ll serve you with official court papers.

 Can I avoid being served to avoid being garnished?

Now, you might think that if you avoid getting court papers served, your wages can’t be garnished.

Unfortunately, that’s not true. They can just go to court without you. If you avoid being served, you won’t know when that’s happening.

And if you don’t appear in court, you lose the opportunity to present your financial situation to the judge.

What if you had a recent job loss or unexpected expenses? The court might take all that into consideration. But they won’t know unless you’re there to represent yourself.

Does my employer have to make the deduction from my pay cheque?

Once the judgement is handed down, and a garnishment order is given, the court sends the order to your employer.

Whether your employer is your best friend, your mother, or a huge corporation, they are legally obligated to withhold the money required and send it to the court. Then the court sends it on to your creditors.

How much can they deduct?

In Manitoba, the court can garnish up to 30 percent of your wages. Which means you may have trouble keeping up with your bills, mortgage, car payments and other expenses.

 How to stop wage garnishment?

So how do you stop wage garnishment? There are only three ways.

You pay the debt.
You stop working, or
A Licensed Insolvency Trustee takes action on your behalf.

How can a Licensed Insolvency Trustee help?

If you’re worried your paycheque may be garnished – or if it’s already happened – you should take action right away by calling LCTaylor. As a Licensed Insolvency Trustee, we can stop the garnishment immediately.

Call to set up a free, no-obligation consultation today with LCTaylor. You don’t have to suffer through a wage garnishment. You do have options.

Leigh C. Taylor, LIT

Leigh has been working in the insolvency field since 1975. He is a graduate of the University of Manitoba. Leigh began his career as an Official Receiver with the Office of the Superintendent of Bankruptcy. He is a Certified Professional Accountant, and he attained his license as a Licensed Insolven Read More Leigh has been working in the insolvency field since 1975. He is a graduate of the University of Manitoba. Leigh began his career as an Official Receiver with the Office of the Superintendent of Bankruptcy. He is a Certified Professional Accountant, and he attained his license as a Licensed Insolvency Trustee in 1980. Leigh has been a member of the Canadian Association of Insolvency and Restructuring Professionals (CAIRP) since its inception. He is a Past President of several organizations, including the Manitoba Association of Insolvency and Restructuring Professionals (MAIRP), the Armstrong Point’s Association, and the Manitoba Opera. In addition, he has served for numerous years in leadership roles in Winnipeg churches. Close

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