Wage Garnishment Laws in Florida – 1st in a Series
Florida laws determining the amount of money judgment a creditor is entitled to in a Wage Garnishment Action.
The amount a creditor can take, confiscate, or “garnish” from a debtor’s salary to settle a debts is limited under Florida law. Wage garnishment rules in Florida, or “pay attachments,” largely reflect federal wage garnishment statutes. However, in Florida, there are numerous exemptions that regulate a creditor’s ability to garnish earnings. Creditors with judgments can usually only collect up to 25% of your wages, and only if your wages meet a certain threshold. Creditors can, however, collect extra for some certain debts.
Wage Garnishment: What Is It?
A “wage garnishment” or “wage attachment” is an order delivered to your employer by a court or government body. It demands that your company deduct money from your paycheck and transfer it to your creditor directly.
Distinct types of debt have different garnishment regulations, and there are legal limits on how much of your paycheck can be deducted.
In Florida, when can a creditor garnish your wages?
Most creditors can’t seek a wage garnishment order unless they first secure a court judgment that says the debtor owes the creditor money. If a debtor is late on credit card payments or owes a doctor’s bill, creditors can’t garnish their income until they first file a lawsuit against the debtor, win the case in court, and obtain a money judgment.
There are exceptions to garnish limits, specifically:
- Income taxes owed
- Child support arrears and court-ordered child support
- Federal student loans that have defaulted.
Wages can be garnished in certain cases without the creditor having to go to court to obtain a judgment.