Wage Garnishment Lawyers in Nashville, TN
Wage garnishment is a legal procedure in which a person's earnings are required by court order to be withheld by an employer to pay a debt. For many, it is a surprising and distressing experience that can disrupt personal financial stability.
The sudden reduction in take-home pay can make it challenging to budget for necessities such as housing, food, and transportation. This financial strain can lead to additional debt as individuals may need to rely on credit cards or loans to cover shortfalls, further exacerbating their financial woes.
The stigma associated with wage garnishment can also negatively impact an individual's mental well-being and workplace performance. Employees faced with garnishment commonly experience embarrassment and a lack of privacy since their employer is involved in their personal financial matters.
At Flexer Law, we understand the stress that can accompany wage garnishment levied against you when facing overwhelming debt. Our legal team brings abundant knowledge and skill to help you regain control of your financial scene. We can help you prevent or resolve wage garnishment as an employee in Nashville or elsewhere in Middle Tennessee.
Reserve a free initial consultation with a Nashville wage garnishment attorney via our online contact form or by calling us at (615) 805-6374.
Wage Garnishment in Tennessee
Creditors must generally secure a money judgment from the court after suing you to proceed with a wage garnishment. However, some creditors do not have to go through that process; they can garnish your paycheck directly as a statutory right.
The following are various types of wage garnishment that can occur in Tennessee:
- Child support and alimony: These are among the most common types of wage garnishment. When individuals fall behind on these payments, courts may order their wages garnished until the debt is satisfied.
- Tax debts: Both federal and state tax authorities can garnish wages for unpaid taxes without a court order.
- Student loans: If you default on federal student loans, your wages can be garnished without a court order in a process known as administrative garnishment.
- Consumer debts: For most consumer debts like credit card bills, personal loans, and medical bills, the creditor cannot start wage garnishment without obtaining a court judgment.
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Wage Garnishment Limits in Tennessee
Tennessee follows the federal guidelines set by the Consumer Credit Protection Act (CCPA) for unpaid consumer debts.
Under Tennessee rules, the lesser of the following may be garnished:
- 25% of disposable income, or
- The amount by which weekly wages exceed 30 times the minimum wage.
Under Tennessee law, you can also protect another $2.50 weekly for each dependent you support under 16 living in the state. Your employer must be informed of these children to secure this extra protection.
The law defines disposable income as earnings after legally required deductions like state and federal taxes and Social Security.
Garnishment Limits for Specific Debts in Tennessee
In Tennessee, while the CCPA dictates the general garnishment limits, specific limits are currently set for certain types of debts like unpaid child support, unpaid taxes, and defaulted federal student loans as follows.
Unpaid Child Support:
The garnishment limit for child support can exceed the typical CCPA cap. Up to 50% of disposable earnings can be garnished if you support another child or spouse and up to 60% if not. An additional 5% may be garnished for support payments over 12 weeks in arrears.