A common tactic used by creditors attempting to collect money from you is to attach your wages, which essentially forces you to make a payment to them out of every pay check. This, along with a bank levy, are the two most commonly used tools in a creditor's toolbox. There are three things to bear in mind should a creditor attempt to attach your pay in New Jersey.
How Much of My Wages Can They Take?
First, there is a cap on what can be collected out of each pay. This cap consists of the lowest amount of:
- 10% of your gross wages
- 25% of your net wages
- the amount by which your net wages exceed $217.50 per week
These caps are set by New Jersey law, but judges have the discretion to lessen the withholding after a hearing.
Can There Be More Than One?
Second, you can only have one wage execution at a time. If you already have one in place (e.g. for alimony or child support) when another creditor comes along, then that second levy does not get added to the first.
On the other hand, that does not mean that the levy goes away; that creditor simply gets in line behind the first and waits for that one to be paid in full. Creditors can, in effect, line up at the payroll office waiting to get paid on a first come, first served basis.
Some Income They Can't Garnish
Third, there are certain streams of income that cannot be attached. These include:
- Social Security benefits
- Unemployment benefits
- VA benefits
- Child support, etc.
If any of these is a source of your income, then that income is safe. You need to object to it.
So What Do I Do?
There are really only two things you can do if you get a Notice of Wage Garnishment:
Fight the Levy
There are defenses to a wage execution, but fighting one is not for the faint of heart. If this is the only debt that is out of hand, then you might want to consider seeking assistance in fighting the levy and reaching a deal with the creditor.
Getting the debt under control will certainly make your life much easier and eliminate the stress. As a former creditor's attorney I have helped many people deal with situations like this by negotiating on their behalf.
If you want more information on how to fight back with your creditors, download my free book, The Biggest Secrets Your Creditors Don't Want You to Know. Become empowered and protect your rights!
If you live in southern New Jersey and would like my assistance in fighting the levy, feel free to call my office at 856-432-4113 or contact me through this site to schedule an appointment in my Woodbury office.
But if this debt is not the only one, and your overall debt is becoming out of control, you may be wondering whether you need a solution to a bigger problem.
If you want to find out, then download my free book, Am I In Too Deep? A Guide to Knowing When You Need to File Bankruptcy in New Jersey to help you decide.
If you have already decided that you need to file bankruptcy, or have discovered this from reading my book, are ready to take action, and you live in Burlington, Camden, Gloucester, Salem or Cumberland County, then call me right away at 856-432-4113 to schedule a free consultation in my Woodbury office.
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