Wage Garnishment Laws in Florida – 2nd in a Series
Limits on Wage Garnishment in Florida
The amount of money that can be deducted from a debtor’s paycheck is limited by federal law. The intent is that there should be enough money after the garnishment to cover living expenditures. Because Florida has not adopted stricter limits, federal law applies. The following are the rules:
A creditor has the right to garnish 25% of the debtor’s disposable income or the amount by which your disposable income exceeds 30 times the federal minimum wage, whichever is smaller.
The debtor’s salary cannot be garnished in Florida if their disposable income is less than 30 times the federal minimum wage. (See Florida Statute Ann. 222.11).
What Is “Disposable Income” when calculating a garnishment limit?
“Disposable earnings” are the wages left over after the employer has taken the legal deductions including Federal, state, and municipal taxes, Social Security, and the employee component of state unemployment compensation insurance. Union dues, life and health insurance, and most retirement plan payments aren’t used to lower discretionary income because they aren’t required by law.
Employers in Florida can deduct these charges from your salary if the employee complies with wage garnishment orders.
Florida Head Of Household Exemption
If the employee being garnished is the head of the family and their weekly wages are $750 or less, a judgment creditor cannot garnish their wages unless the debtor agrees to it in writing. The debtor must provide more than half of the support for a child or other dependent to qualify as head of family. (See Florida Statute Ann. 222.11).
When a debtor is advised that a creditor intends to request a wage garnishment, they must claim the Head Of Household exemption by filing an affidavit with the court.
Child Support, Student Loans, and Unpaid Taxes Garnishment Rules
The government or a creditor can garnish your earnings without a court order if the debt is over child support, school debts, or taxes. The amount of garnishment for Child Support, Student Loans and Unpaid taxes can also vary from the general rules already discussed.