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Jump to navigation Jump to search For other uses, see Garnish. Garnishment is an American legal process for collecting a monetary judgment on behalf of a plaintiff from a defendant. Some jurisdictions may allow for garnishment by a tax agency without the need to first obtain a judgment or other court order. Wage garnishments may continue until the entire debt is paid or arrangements are made to pay off the debt.
When served on an employer, garnishments are taken as part of the payroll process. When processing payroll, sometimes there is not enough money in the employee’s net pay to satisfy all of the garnishments. Wage garnishment can negatively affect credit, reputation, and the ability to receive a loan or open a bank account. In Minnesota, there are five limits on wage garnishment: Creditors cannot garnish wages for social security benefits, retirement benefits, welfare payments, workers’ compensation benefits, or income associated with disability or unemployment insurance. In many states when the person is an employee or appointee of a governmental unit the writ is called a Writ of Sequestration.
These are processed by the courts in the same manner as garnishments and are subject to the same wage exemptions. In the United States, firing an employee to avoid handling a levy may be a criminal offense. 1,000 and imprisonment for up to one year on an employer who willfully fires an employee in connection with a garnishment of the employee’s earnings. In the case of an IRS levy, no court order is required. The IRS may serve the Final Notice in person, may leave the notice at the taxpayer’s home or usual place of business, or may send it to the last known address by certified or registered mail.