The State of Texas offers many protections from wage garnishments for certain types of debts, including credit card debt, breach of contract debts, and tort claims. But before packing up your bags and moving to this great state, it’s important to understand that not all debtors will be protected from Texas wage garnishments. Texas does allow wage garnishment for some debts, specifically, those for child support payments, certain IRS tax debts (which are garnished under federal wage garnishment laws), and student loan debts.
Does this mean all of my income is protected?
So while Texas wage garnishment laws may offer some protection from wage garnishments, this does not mean that the creditor will not be able to get paid. For example, even if your wage cannot be garnished Texas laws do allow creditors to levy money which has been deposited into bank accounts and to garnish income from non-wage sources, such as rent or royalties.
Wages are also just one source of income. As mentioned above, wages are protected against wage garnishments for most debts, but what about other sources of income? Does the sixty-seven year old have to worry that half their Social Security check will be garnished to pay for their debts? Fortunately, Texas and federal laws protect many different income sources from wage garnishments from most creditors.
For example, Social Security payments are protected under federal laws from most garnishments, excluding those for federal taxes, child support, spousal support, and other federal debts. Public assistance payments are also protected from garnishments.
How much money is paid for the Texas wage garnishment?
Assuming the wage garnishment is valid and legal under Texas state laws there is a maximum which can be withheld. In the State of Texas the wage garnishment will be:
- A total of 25% of disposable income, other than for taxes and child support; or
- The amount by which a debtor’s weekly income exceeds 30 times the minimum wage
What about child support or tax garnishments? Unfortunately, repayment for these debts can be as high as sixty-percent of your income.
Stopping a Texas wage garnishment through bankruptcy?
Some Texas wage garnishments may be stopped by filing for bankruptcy protection. Wage garnishments allowed in the state of Texas, however, may be exempt from discharge. For example, if you have a wage garnishment for unpaid child support this type of wage garnishment will not be terminated by filing for bankruptcy protection but must be repaid.
Do I need a lawyer to fight a Texas wage garnishment?
If you have decided not to fight the Texas wage garnishment you will not need to hire a lawyer. A lawyer may be able to help you, however, if you have been threatened with a garnishment from another state. In this case the lawyer can review the information and determine if the garnishment is valid, challenge how the judgment was rendered, or determine whether the statute of limitations to collect the debt has expired.
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