How much of my wages can be can legally garnished?

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How much of my wages can be can legally garnished?

I got served with some garnishment papers, and after taxes, etc. I roughly bring home $300 a week. The garnishment has taken out $108 of that a week, and I cannot survive and feed my family with so much taken out. Now, I don’t mind them taking it out because I owe the debt, but my paycheck already is not enough. This garnishment is making it worse because I am head of household. I cannot afford to stretch my money any further doing anything else. How can I adjust this?

Asked on November 12, 2010 under Bankruptcy Law, Arizona

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

In AZ a creditor may only garnish the lesser of 25% of a debtor's non-exempt disposable earnings or the amount of weekly earnings that exceed 30 times the hourly minimum wage (currently $7.25 per hour).  However, there are several important limitations on the garnishment of earnings.  Only "non-exempt" earnings are subject to garnishment. Exempt earnings are determined pursuant to with state/ federal law and include such things as Social Security payments, child support, and the like.  If you feel that a garnishment is placing a hardship on you, you may petition the court that issued the garnishment.  If at the hearing the court determines that the judgment debtor or his/her family would suffer extreme economic hardship as a result of the garnishment, the court may reduce the amount of non-exempt earnings withheld from 25% to not less than 15%. 


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