New York Garnishment Laws – Overview

Chloe Meltzer

December 01, 2021

Summary: Are you worried you're going to get a judgment against you and your wages will be garnished? Here's an overview of New York's garnishment laws.

Every state has its own laws that govern how much a creditor is allowed to garnish from your wages after a default judgment has been placed against you. In the state of New York, wage garnishment laws are known as "income executions".

New York is one state that protects consumers more than the federal laws do and only allows judgment creditors to take up to 10% of your gross wages. Although it does depend on the type of debt, in some cases creditors can take more without winning a lawsuit. Here is what you need to know about New York garnishment laws.

Understanding income execution

An "income execution" is another name for wage garnishment. It is done by an order from a court and requires your employer to withhold a certain amount of money from every paycheck. This money will go directly to your creditor. There are legal limits that they must abide by, and these are dictated by the state of New York.

There are three types of debt for which your wages may be garnished:

  • Unpaid income taxes
  • Court-ordered child support
  • Defaulted student loans

Although legally your wages can be garnished for the above debts, they still need to obtain a court judgment against you in order to force you to pay.

Keep your wages safe from creditors by filing a response with SoloSuit.

Wage garnishment limits in New York state

Because federal law places limits on income execution amounts on how much can be taken from each paycheck, you still need to be able to pay for living expenses. New York State has larger limits than those set by federal law, which is good if you have a wage garnishment order placed against you.

In the state of New York, a creditor is only legally allowed to garnish 10% of your gross wages or 25% of your disposable income. This should only be up to 30% of the minimum wage. If your disposable income is less than 30 times the minimum wage, then you cannot have any of your wages garnished at all.

"Disposable earnings" are wages that are left after taxes have been taken out. These taxes are usually federal, state, and local, as well as Social Security and unemployment compensation insurance. If there are also deductions that are not required by law, then they do not count towards disposable income.

Other limits on wage garnishment

If you are in debt due to owing child support, student loans, or taxes, then different laws govern these debts. Your wages for these debts can be garnished without a court judgment, and the maximum amount that can be garnished is also different.

  • Child support. Court orders for child support automatically are allowed to withhold your income. The other parent involved in the case can get a wage garnishment order should you fall behind in payments. Instead of 10%, federal law limits the garnishment to up to 50% of your disposable earnings. In some cases, up to 60% of your earnings may be taken.
  • Defaulted student loans. For anyone that is in default for a federal student loan, the Department of Education can garnish your wages without a judgment. This is done by getting a judgment using an administrative garnishment. The Department of Education can garnish 15% of your disposable income, but the limit is 30 times the minimum wage.
  • Unpaid taxes. If you have not paid your taxes, then the federal government can garnish your wages without a court judgment. This is called “owing back taxes”. The limit for how much can be garnished is based on your household size and income.
  • Multiple garnishments. Because you might have multiple garnishments against you, there are limits for federal garnishment limits. The total amount that can be garnished is limited to 10% of your gross wages or 25% of your disposable wages. It will be whichever is the lesser amount.

If you are fired while having your wages garnished, it is good to note that you do have protection. If you are fired specifically because of your wage garnishment, it is not legal. The only time you can be fired for a wage garnishment is if you have more than one wage garnishment order. In New York State, your employer cannot fire or refuse to promote you because of the wage garnishment.

What is SoloSuit?

SoloSuit makes it easy to respond to a debt collection lawsuit.

How it works: SoloSuit is a step-by-step web-app that asks you all the necessary questions to complete your answer. Upon completion, you can either print the completed forms and mail in the hard copies to the courts or you can pay SoloSuit to file it for you and to have an attorney review the document.

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