Appendix B: Federal Wage Garnishment Limits

Author:Gregory Germain
Pages:403-404
 
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APPENDIX B: Federal Wage Garnishment Limits
15 U.S.C. § 1672. Definitions. For the purposes of this subchapter:
(a) The term “earnings” means compensation paid or payable for personal services, whether
denominated as wages, salary, commission, bonus, or otherwise, and includes periodic
payments pursuant to a pension or retirement program.
(b) The term “disposable earnings” means that part of the earnings of any individual remaining
after the deduction from those earnings of any amounts required by law to be withheld.
(c) The term “garnishment” means any legal or equitable procedure through which the
earnings of any individual are required to be withheld for payment of any debt.
15 U.S.C. 1673. Restriction on garnishment
(a) Maximum allowable garnishment. Except as provided in subsection (b) of this section and
in section 1675 of this title, the maximum part of the aggregate disposable earnings of an
individual for any workweek which is subjected to garnishment may not exceed
(1) 25 per centum of his disposable earnings for that week, or
(2) the amount by which his disposable earnings for that week exceed thirty times the
Federal minimum hourly wage prescribed by section 206 (a)(1) of title 29 in effect at the
time the earnings are payable,
whichever is less. In the case of earnings for any pay period other than a week, the Secretary
of Labor shall by regulation prescribe a multiple of the Federal minimum hourly wage
equivalent in effect to that set forth in paragraph (2).
(b) Exceptions
(1) The restrictions of subsection (a) of this section do not apply in the case of
(A) any order for the support of any person issued by a court of competent
jurisdiction or in accordance with an administrative procedure, which is established
by State law, which affords substantial due process, and which is subject to judicial
review.
(B) any order of any court of the United States having jurisdiction over cases under
chapter 13 of title 11.
(C) any debt due for any State or Federal tax.
(2) The maximum part of the aggregate disposable earnings of an individual for any
workweek which is subject to garnishment to enforce any order for the support of any
person shall not exceed
(A) where such individual is supporting his spouse or dependent child (other than a
spouse or child with respect to whose support such order is used), 50 per centum of
such individual’s disposable earnings for that week; and
(B) where such individual is not supporting such a spouse or dependent child
described in clause (A), 60 per centum of such individual’s disposable earnings for
that week;

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