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DEBT RELIEF LAW CENTER

Attorney Jim Turner Can
Stop The Garnishment!


Have Your Wages Or Bank Account Been Garnished?

Garnishment is a legal order, typically pursuant to a final judgment, for collecting money on behalf of a judgment-creditor from a judgment-debtor. In most cases, a writ of Garnishment is served on the debtor's employer or financial institution ordering that a certain amount be withheld pending further order of the court.

Florida Statutes Section 222.11 exempts from Garnishment by a creditor 100% of the “earnings” of an individual who is “head of family” unless a person has agreed otherwise in writing. An additional requirement in order for the earnings to gain this exempt status is that the earnings must be “credited or deposited in any financial institution.” If these requirements are met, the earnings will be “exempt from attachment or Garnishment for 6 months after the earnings are received by the financial institution if the funds can be traced and properly identified as earnings.” If an individual is not a “head of family,” only 75% of the earnings will be exempt (assuming the other requirements are met).

Definition of Head of Family. The first, and more straightforward, issue to address is the definition of “head of household.” The Florida statute defines “head of family” as “any natural person who is providing more than one-half of the support for a child or other dependent.” The term dependent is not defined in the statute, however, case law has held that any moral obligation to support another may be sufficient to satisfy the “head of family” requirement. Given this broad definition, spouses, minor and adult children, parents, and other family members for whom you provide more than 50% of their support would clearly qualify as dependents.

For information on stopping a Garnishment, visit How Can I Stop a Garnishment?

Are your wages being garnished?

PROTECTING STIMULUS CHECKS FROM GARNISHMENT

As a result of the $2.2 trillion CARES Act, the federal government will issue stimulus checks to millions of income-qualified Americans. The purpose of the checks is to help people cover food, utilities, rent, medicine, and other basic necessities at a time when many have been told to stay home and have lost income. Garnishment of these funds represents a threat to public health. The CARES Act protects those stimulus checks from offsets to collect certain debts owed to federal and state governments. The Act does not specifically address garnishment or bank offset for other debts. However, it gives the U.S. Treasury the authority to issue rules and guidance to carry out the purposes of the stimulus payments. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has more information online about distribution of checks.

What Consumers and Advocates Can Do?

Unless and until the U.S. Treasury ensures that the payments will be protected, consumers who have an outstanding judgment entered against them in a collection lawsuit should consider:

  • Withholding direct deposit information from the IRS (where it does not already have such information) so that the IRS will have to issue a paper stimulus check;
  • Withdrawing stimulus funds as soon as deposited;
  • >

  • Seeking an emergency stay of any garnishment order;
  • or
  • Asserting exemptions under state law if an account containing the stimulus check has already been garnished. Relevant exemptions may include exemptions for public benefits, cash in bank accounts, or wildcard exemptions.

Please contact me for a free consultation about Garnishment.

Contact Garnishment Lawyer, Jim Turner by Calling Toll Free 1.888.877.5103 to Schedule a Confidential and FREE Legal Consultation.

Orlando Garnishment Attorney Jim Turner proudly serves victims of Garnishment and other legal needs for residents of Orlando, Kissimmee, Orange County, Osceola County, Seminole County, and throughout Central Florida.

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