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When is it Legal for Creditors to Garnish my Wages in Iowa?


When creditors decide to opt for wage garnishment to recover their money, your life will be negatively affected. For instance, wage garnishment can lead to an increase in debt when you have to borrow money to pay for your utility bills because the amount you receive from your paycheck after garnishment is inadequate.

Sometimes you cannot prevent your creditors from garnishing your wages, but paying attention to the Iowa wage garnishment regulations can help you know when they do so unfairly. There are certain limitations on wage garnishment. For instance, most creditors are not legally allowed to garnish your wages unless the court allows them to do so. Additionally, understanding the law can help you know how to fight wage garnishment once you fall victim.

In this article, you’ll get to understand when it is legal for creditors to garnish your wages and how you can fight a wage garnishment order.

What Is Wage Garnishment?

Before discussing Iowa wage garnishment laws, you must understand precisely what wage garnishment means. This is when some of your income is withheld to repay your creditors. Usually, employers withhold money from employees and send the withheld amount directly to creditors.

When Is It Legal for Creditors to Garnish Wages?

With a few exceptions, creditors are not legally allowed to garnish your wages without first suing you in court and receiving a court order allowing them to proceed.

The debts exempted from this rule include;

  • Child support debts
  • Defaulted student loans and
  • Unpaid income taxes

Other Limitations to Wage Garnishment

Apart from creditors not being allowed to garnish your wages without a court order, there are other limitations to wage garnishment. For example, under the law, the maximum amount a creditor can garnish from your wages is 25% from your weekly disposable earnings. Disposable earnings are the amount of money an employee remains with after an employer withholds any legally required subtractions.

How to Fight Wage Garnishment

One way of fighting a wage garnishment order is through challenging it. In most situations, you are allowed up to five days to challenge the ruling. To successfully challenge wage garnishment, you must prove to the court that you cannot pay for your expenses because the order is in effect. However, since a judge can refuse to terminate the order, you need to be aware of other options.

Filing for bankruptcy can help you stop wage garnishment. The moment you successfully file for bankruptcy, the automatic stops wage garnishment. Bankruptcy is often a daunting topic for many people, but it could offer you a chance to stop your creditors from frustrating you.

Contact a Southeast Iowa Bankruptcy Lawyer Today

When you try filing for bankruptcy without an attorney, you might realize that you do not qualify for the type of bankruptcy you want to file. Such an inconvenience will only delay your chance of stopping your creditors from garnishing your wages. To prevent this inconvenience, work with a Southeast Iowa bankruptcy attorney who can help you realize the best option for you. Contact the Noyes Law Office, P.C., today to schedule a consultation.


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