A wage garnishment or administrative garnishment is an order from the court or other government agency that requires your employer to withhold a part of your paycheck and send it to the institution or person to whom you owe money until your debt is paid off. Although your wages can be garnished for several reasons after an unfavorable court judgment, wage garnishment laws in Texas do not allow withholding paychecks for debts other than child support, back taxes, alimony, and student loans. Texas law also limits the amount of money that a creditor can take from your wages to repay debts so that you have enough pay left for living expenses. A creditor may levy some of your other assets such as funds in the bank in case they are unable to garnish your wages. Further, if you receive your paycheck from a source outside Texas, a creditor has the authority to render a binding judgment in Texas and garnish your wages. In this blog post, we explore wage garnishment laws and how can a creditor can garnish your wages in Texas.
In case you are in default on a federal student loan, the U.S. Department of Education or any other institution collecting for the agency is able to garnish part of your paychecks without getting a court judgment. At most, the agency can garnish 15 percent of your disposable income, but not more than 30 times the minimum wage.
Since 1988, all court orders for child support in the US include an automatic income withholding order. In Texas, the creditors may garnish up to 50 percent of your disposable earnings to pay domestic support obligations towards child support. Under Texas law, ‘disposable earnings’ are those residual earnings after your employer has made the necessary deductions required by law such as non-discretionary retirement deductions, union dues, medical expenses, and disability insurance for you and your children.
The federal, state, and local governments hold the authority to garnish your wages without getting any order from the court if you owe back taxes. The amount that can be garnished depends on how many dependents you have, your deduction rate, and other extenuating circumstances.
Complying with wage garnishment orders can be a hassle for employers and can motivate them to terminate your employment. According to Wage Garnishment Laws in Dallas, Texas, federal law is supposed to provide some protection for you in such situations by stopping your dismissal if you only have one wage garnishment. Wage garnishment can affect anyone, but the key lies in knowing your rights before your wages are taken away. If an employer threatens to fire or not hire you due to your wage garnishment, consult an experienced lawyer who knows their way around wage garnishment laws in Texas. A simple online search will connect you with reputable attorneys if you conduct the necessary due diligence.