Hoe does a garnishment work on an out-of-state resident?

UPDATED: Nov 2, 2011

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Hoe does a garnishment work on an out-of-state resident?

I recently went to court regarding the breaking of a lease agreement. The landlord gave us verbal permission to leave but lied under oath and said that she never said anything of the kind. We lost the case since she had a signed lease and we had no way to prove our case. Now we owe my old landlord money. I currently live in one state but the property I rented is located in another (the state in which the court decision was made). I have heard that if I do not work out a payment plan with the old landlord that she can have my wages garnished. I work in that state in which the property is located as well. We received a paper from the court that said that a lien could be placed on our home for the money owed. My concern is that my wages could be garnished even though the court paperwork did not mention this. How would garnishment or a lien work? Does my state of residence matter?

Asked on November 2, 2011 under Bankruptcy Law, Pennsylvania


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

The way a wage garnishment works concerning an out of state judgment debtor is that the judgment creditor files an application for a sister state judgment in the county where the judgment debtor resides. Ordinarily the court grants the application. Once granted, the judgment creditor then begins the levy process on bank accounts of the debtor, wage garnishment on the debtor's pay checks and even recording an abstract of judgment on the judgment debtor's home.

Given what you have written, it may be a good idea to try and work out a monthly payment agreement in writing with your former landlord to pay down the judgment against you.

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