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Does Consumer Credit Protection Act wording - 15 USC § 1677 - Effect on State laws mean that State garnishment laws MUST prevail

Orlando, FL |

It seems to indicate so on the dol.gov website in the CCPA. Here is the specific URL to it http://www.dol.gov/compliance/guide/garnish.htm It even says on this page, "If a state wage garnishment law differs from Title III, the employer must observe the law resulting in the smaller garnishment"

So logically, if I have a judgment against me for federal educational debt (student loans - but NOT TAXES - taxes being the only debt that the CCPA lists as excluded in its scope of coverage),... if I have a judgment against me here in FL, and FL garnishment law allows me to claim head of household exemption to be 100% exempt from wage garnishment, then does this mean the judgment creditor (US Govt) is bound to uphold its own Federal CCPA law, which says it MUST observe state law's protection?

Attorney Answers 1

Posted

First question, is the "judgment" a state court judgment or federal court judgment?

Here is the thing...you can ask this question all you want. Laws are not self-executing. And especially "exemptions laws" are not self executing; the debtor must CLAIM the exemption. Even if you are 100% correct in your reasoning and position, you still need to go to court and prove it. So, if this garnishment order originated from a court, you have to go to that court, file a claim of exemption, and give the court both the legal and factual basis to support your position. In short, you need to argue your position, in writing. Ultimately, the judge will decide.

Frankly, stop wasting your time here and get to work. A dozen attorneys here could say the answer to your question is yes, but it won't make a bit difference. The only person's opinion that matters is the judge.

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Asker

Posted

Um. Thanks Matthew. I think.:/ Not sure where the 'get to work' comment is supposed to fit in (as I do work full time, and I have already hired an attorney here in the southern district to help with this). Was just using this legal community for what I thought its intended purpose was, to get 'expert' opinions on legal matters/scenarios. thnx for your breakdown. I appreciate it.

Matthew Scott Berkus

Matthew Scott Berkus

Posted

I understand, you are trying figure this out, you are living in a world of uncertainty with your livelihood threatened and that causes tremendous stress. The problem is that your question is not black and white. The reason you are not getting a lot (or any) responses is that no one here can really answer your question. It is too specific. There is a difference between legal advice (which potentially creates an attorney-client relationship) and legal information. Legal advice CANNOT be shared on this forum. Legal advice is the application of law to an individual's specific circumstances. You are asking exactly that; does this law apply to my situation. No one here can really say, and I applaud you for hiring an attorney. Many people who come here don't, and think that the information on this website can substitute for having an attorney, it can't. We can agree that Title III has a provision related to which law (state or federal) to apply regarding calculating the amount of a garnishment, but whether that really extends to FL 's head of household exemption and the type of judgment you have, is a research project and beyond what we do here.

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