I have had a few discussions during this past week about creditor’s ability to garnish wages of judgment debtors who are not head of household and who do not qualify for Florida’s wage garnishment exemptions. If you are not head of household the Florida statutes permit creditors to garnish your wages. Garnishment is limited to amounts otherwise provided by federal wage garnishment laws. Federal law permits garnishment of 25% of the debtor’s net earnings.One person asked me if voluntary contributions to company sponsored pension plans was deductible from gross wages for purposes of determining net wages subject to garnishment.
I found a few court decisions which said that the wage garnishment statutes contemplate involuntary deductions from salary such as income taxes, union dues, or court order child support and alimony. Voluntary retirement payments would not be deductible for purposes of computing wages subjection to garnishment. Otherwise, debtors could maximize pension contributions as a means of avoiding wage garnishment and still keep the money for their future use.
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