A wage garnishment – also known as an income execution in New York- is a potent debt recovery method available to any judgment creditor if you have a job. And it can happen without you knowing about it! Let us explain...
Stopping Wage Garnishment
First, inform yourself about the underlying judgment. Take the income execution form to the court clerk. Get a copy of your file. Then see a consumer lawyer in your area. Stopping a wage garnishment starts with careful analysis of how the creditor obtained the judgment in the first place. A lawyer will look for a defect in the process: sewer service, sued in the wrong court, creditor misconduct or you mistakenly missed deadlines. Then, we ask the court for an order staying ( holding off) the garnishment while the judge considers throwing the judgment out or giving you your day in court.
The wage garnishment process: how it works
ABC Bank gets a judgment against you. ABC's lawyers send your employer an information subpoena, a legal document that forces your boss to tell how many hours you work and how much you make. Then, ABC's lawyers sends an income execution form to the County Sheriff or City Marshal. This has the force of law even though no judge has seen it: it can be put in place merely by the lawyer's signature. The Sheriff will send you a copy. Review this information carefully to see if your salary information is correct. If the form has your Social Security Number on it, remember that's a legal no-no!!
How much can they take?
You have 20 days from receiving the income execution to pay the Sheriff yourself. If you do, your employer will not know about it. If you do not pay the Sheriff or Marshal within that 20 day period, he will contact your employer to have money taken from your pay. How much money? It's a formula, but figure 10% of your disposable wages ( gross minus taxes and FICA). In no event can your wages be garnished so you take home less than the minimum wage times 30 ( currently $240.00)
If you are self-employed, there is nothing to "garnish," although the creditor can ask for a payment order. Along those lines, if you are a commission or fee based worker or sub-contractor, you may find a restraint crimps your cash flow to nothing. In that case, you will want to ask the Court ( if you need it) for an order by CPLR 5240. This section allows you to show the Court how a restraint will harm you, your family and your livelihood. You can ask the Court to modify the manner and amount you'd pay your creditor.
Can you attack it yourself?
You can, but it takes a solid knowledge of civil procedure, the law, and how your local court works. The foregoing information is based on our experience in Albany, Broome, Cayuga, Clinton, Columbia, Cortland, Delaware, Dutchess, Essex, Franklin, Fulton, Greene, Hamilton, Herkimer, Jefferson, Lewis, Madison, Oneida, Onondaga, Otsego, Oswego, Rensselaer, St. Lawrence, Schenectady, Schoharie, Tioga, Tompkins, Ulster, Warren, Washington Counties. The process is similar in Western New York, New York City and Long Island. But again, a lot of what you need to do and show is dependent on what court you are in, so get advice from lawyers who know your adversary as well as what the Court will look for.
Our Rating is calculated using information the lawyer has included on
their profile in addition to the information we collect from state
bar associations and other organizations that license legal
professionals. Attorneys who claim their profiles and provide Avvo
with more information tend to have a higher rating than those who do
What determines Avvo Rating?
Experience & background
Years licensed, work experience, education
Legal community recognition
Peer endorsements, associations, awards
Legal thought leadership
Publications, speaking engagements
This lawyer was disciplined by a state licensing authority in .
Disciplinary information may not be comprehensive, or updated. We recommend that you always check a lawyer's disciplinary status with their respective state bar association before hiring them.