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Can a Federal Wage garnishment (after the end of probation and time served for a federal crime), be appealed if hearing denied?

Tustin, CA |

My fiancee was paying his monthly restitution as agreed upon then out of the blue, his wages were ordered to be garnished 25 percent
Please note that he was not late; he did not miss a payment
they denied his request for a hearing
is there anything he can do to appeal this decision?
He received no notification or order to pay more than the set amount he was paying, so this was a real shock
His total restitution is over 1 million dollars if that holds any bearing
Thank you

Attorney Answers 4


  1. Best answer

    Please contact his Probation officer and the collections unit at the District's prosecutor's office to get a better understanding of this collection increase. If this is not an increase and just an alternative method of collection, there may be nothing you can do to overt it.


  2. Who denied the request for a hearing? Who requested the garnishment? It may be worthwhile to have a federal attorney look into this. Many reputable federal attorneys offer a free consultation so my recommendation is to meet with several to determine which one best fits your needs. Good luck.

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    The response above is not intended as legal advice since it’s impracticable to provide thorough, accurate advice based upon the query without additional details. It is highly recommended that one should seek advice from a criminal defense attorney licensed in your jurisdiction by setting up a confidential meeting. Moreover, this response does not constitute the creation of an attorney-client relationship since this message is not a confidential communication because it was posted on a public website, thereby publicly disclosing the information, which is another reason to setup a confidential meeting with an attorney.


  3. As my colleague stated, the question is that what entity requested garnishment? You need to retain an attorney to evaluate your case.


  4. The answer to this question is one of my favorites, but it doesn't seem to catch on as well as I would like.

    So, I will give an analogy. There was a saturday night live skit where Jane Curtin and Gilda Radner did a commercial where this substance in a can could be applied to sponge mop for floor waxing and also be applied to a strawberry short cake. The gag line "ITS A FLOOR WAX "AND" A DESERT TOPPING was humerous at the time. So, you buy a can of this stuff, and you can wax your floors and if you have some left over, you can eat it like whipped cream.

    About 3 years ago, a law was passed making federal restitution a GENERAL TAX LIABILITY. The memo attached is sort of an "official signaling" that this was to begin. The restitution, as a general tax liability, is money owed to the IRS. A portion of the restitution is a slip stream of cash headed through probation.

    In probation, a rate per unit time was set to satisfy the probation section that that part of probation was going smoothly. However, the remainder of the tax liability has no "payment plan" style rate of cash per unit time affect. It means that you have two bullies holding you up for money. One bully, the probation department, is a kind bully and asks for a small amount per unit time. The other bully asks for all of it right now in the same way and using the same tax collection efforts as for all taxpayers.

    Lets say as an example that restitution is $100,000 and that the probation lasts 2 years and that the rate of payment per month is $1000.

    At time zero, you owe Bully, Inc.. $100,000. If you do not pay the probation bully at least $1000 per month, your probation crashes and burns and you are in trouble. Further (just like real school with real bullies), the tax bully at time zero says "you owe me $100,000, what are you going to do?

    Paying the probation bully the pittance of $1000 per month gives you no credit with the tax bully. Tax bully comes after the restitutioner (I just made that word up, its not in google, I invented it, by analogy with pension / pensioner) the same way he comes after any tax payer who owes tax of $100,000: He garnishes wages using the federal (not state) limits, He will levy your bank account, He will put liens on your house, and much more.

    He doesn't give a care about your payments to probation except for one thing, each $1000 payment to probation reduces your total tax liability by that amount. So what happens when a citizen who owes $100,000 in tax pays $1000? The IRS credits your account. To make sure, why not order your current transcripts and those in the past that extend back as far as the restituion order.? You will see it show up on your transcript, and you should also see the amount you pay to probation credited on the general tax amount owed as it shows up (maybe a delay in probation department getting info to IRS so that the credit is shown. That credit device is probably their only communication.

    You indicated that there was a LOT of restitution, probably much more than the "payments" When restitution is over, the probation bully is happy and bids adieu. The IRS bully is still there and always will be. (the only bully more powerful than the IRS bully is the Bankruptcy Bully, but since restition is not dischargeable, Bankruptcy does no good.

    Side Note: depending upon WHY there is restitution, namely if there was a fraud which caused the fraudulent gain to be taken into income, the payment of restitution may be deductible; see Cavaretta, TC memo 2010-4. (Restitution can be Deductible) at the link below.

    So, when dealing with the IRS, you may want to treat this in the same way (except for the possibility of bankruptcy) as any taxpayer would treat an IRS amount owing. Some of those ways of dealing with a $1,000,000 tax liability might be:

    -The filing of a 911 order stating that both garnishment AND regular payments endanger your ability to survive

    (continued )

    Curt Harrington Patent & Tax Law Attorney Certified Tax Specialist by the California Board of Legal Specialization PATENTAX.COM This communication is general information and not legal advice, and does not create an attorney-client relationship. This communication should not be relied upon as any type of legal advice. Please note that no attorney-client relationship exists between the sender and the recipient of this message in the absence of either (1) a signed fee contract and (2) remission of an agreed-upon retainer. Absent such an agreement and retainer, I am not engaged by you as an attorney, nor is any other member of my law firm.

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