Guide to Garnishment Limits by State

Chloe Meltzer

December 01, 2021

Summary: Is a debt collector threatening to garnish your wages? Want to know how much they can take? Here's your guide to garnishment limits by state.

If you are sued for a debt, due to nonpayment, and a default judgment is placed against you, your wages can be garnished. The process of wage garnishment means that a portion of your wages will be paid to the creditor in order to satisfy your debts. Each law has different legal limits and rules surrounding this.

Debtors have rights in the wage garnishment process including that you need to be notified of the garnishment and that you can file a dispute if you believe you do not owe the debt. Additionally, both social security and veteran benefits are exempt from wage garnishment. You cannot be fired for having one wage garnishment, but if you have more than one you can be.

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Guide to garnishment limits by state

Alabama

  • Federal limits apply

Alaska

  • Up to 25% of disposable weekly earnings.
  • At least $350 of weekly net earnings

Arizona

  • Federal limits apply

Arkansas

  • Federal limits apply

California

  • Federal limits apply

Colorado

  • Federal limits apply

Connecticut

  • 25% of your disposable earnings or the amount by which your weekly earning exceed 40 times the federal minimum wage ($7.25/hour) or the Connecticut minimum wage ($9.15/hour), whichever is less

Delaware

  • Federal limits apply
  • Only one wage garnishment permitted per individual

District of Columbia

  • Garnishment is not allowed for anyone earning 40 times the D.C minimum wage ($15/hour) or less.
  • Federal limits apply
  • Only one wage garnishment permitted per individual

Florida

  • Only one wage garnishment permitted per individual
  • If disposable income is less than 30 times the federal minimum wage, your wages cannot be garnished.
  • Florida Head of Family Exemption: If the head of a household and making less than $750 per week, wages cannot be garnished.

Georgia

  • Federal limits apply

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Hawaii

  • Calculated based on monthly disposable income: 5% for the first $100, 10% on the next $100, 25% on all disposable income over $200 for one month.

Idaho

  • Federal limits apply

Illinois

  • Either 15% of gross wages or the amount of disposable income after deducting the Illinois minimum wage times 45.

Indiana

  • Federal limits apply
  • If an individual shows why the amount should be reduced, garnishment may be less than 25%
  • Cannot be terminated for having multiple wage garnishments

Iowa

  • Federal limits apply, however, the amount a single creditor can garnish in one year includes:
    • Below $12,000/year: up to $250
    • $12,000-$15,999: to $400
    • $16,000-$23,999: up to $800
    • $24,000-$34,999: up to $1500
    • $35,000-$49,999; up to $2,000
    • $50,000+: no more than 10% of wages.
  • Cannot be terminated for having multiple wage garnishments

Kansas

  • Federal limits apply
  • Cannot be terminated for having multiple wage garnishments

Kentucky

  • Federal limits apply

Louisiana

  • Federal limits apply

Maine

  • Less than 25% of an employee's disposable income or disposable wages that are more than 40 times the state minimum wage ($11.00/hour).
  • Cannot be terminated for having multiple wage garnishments

Maryland

  • Federal limits apply in Queen Anne's
  • Cannot be terminated for having one wage garnishment per year
  • Federal limits apply in Kent, Worcester, and Caroline counties
  • In other countries, the lesser of 25% of the employee's weekly disposable income or the amount by which the employee's weekly disposable earnings exceed $145 can be garnished
  • In Maryland, an employer cannot terminate an employee for a single garnishment in one calendar year.

Massachusetts

  • Up to 15% of one's gross wages or disposable income less than 50 times the federal minimum wage ($7.25/hour) or the Massachusetts minimum wage ($12.00/hour) per week (whichever is more)

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Michigan

  • Federal limits apply
  • Cannot be terminated for having multiple wage garnishments under Michigan law, but can be under federal law

Minnesota

  • Federal limits apply

Mississippi

  • Federal limits apply
  • Cannot be terminated for having a wage garnishment for child support
  • Wages cannot be garnished for the first 30 days after the court order is served

Missouri

  • Federal limits apply
  • Heads of the household are more protected

Montana

  • If earnings are less than $217.50/week, wages cannot be garnished.
  • If weekly disposable earnings are over $217.50 but under $290.00, only the amount above $217.50 can be garnished.
  • If disposable earnings are over $290.00/week, no more than 25% can be garnished.

Nebraska

  • Federal limits apply

Nevada

  • The highest amount that can be garnished per week is less than 25% of an employee's disposable income or the amount of their disposable earnings that exceed the federal minimum wage ($7.25/hour)
  • Cannot be terminated for having multiple wage garnishments

New Hampshire

  • Protects disposable earnings greater than 50 times the federal minimum wage ($7.25/hour or $362.50/week).

New Jersey

  • Up to 10% of the employee's income if they earn less than 250% of the federal poverty level for their household's size or up to 25% if the individual earns more than 250% of the federal poverty level.
  • Cannot be terminated for having multiple wage garnishments

New Mexico

  • Less than 25% of disposable earnings or the amount by which weekly disposable earning exceed 40 times the federal minimum wage ($7.25/hour)

New York

  • 10% of an employee's gross wages or 25% of their disposable income that exceeds 30% of the minimum wage ($7.25/hour), whichever is lower.
  • Income is less than 30 times the minimum wage, cannot be garnished.

North Carolina

  • Federal limits apply except for garnishments by the North Carolina Department of Revenue, which limits to 10% of an employee's gross wages

North Dakota

  • Less than 25% of the employee's disposable income or when weekly income exceeds 40 times the minimum wage ($7.25/hour)

Ohio

  • Federal limits apply
  • Cannot be terminated for having one wage garnishment per year, or because of child-support garnishment.

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Oklahoma

  • Federal limits apply
  • Cannot be terminated for having more than two wage garnishments in one year

Oregon

  • Federal limits apply
  • Cannot be terminated for having multiple wage garnishments

Pennsylvania

  • Limits vary by type of debt owed
    • Back rent: limited to 10%
    • Child support up to 60%
    • Student loans up to 15%
    • Unpaid federal taxes depend on dependents and deductions
    • Unpaid state taxes up to 10%.

Rhode Island

  • 25% of the employee's disposable income or if weekly disposable earnings exceed 30 times the federal minimum wage ($7.25/hour).

South Carolina

  • Private parties are prohibited from garnishing for consumer debt
  • Federal limits apply
  • Cannot be terminated for having a consumer debt garnishment

South Dakota

  • 20% of disposable earnings or if weekly disposable earnings exceed 40 times the federal minimum wage ($7.25/hour) (less $25/week for each dependent living with the employee for either one).

Tennessee

  • 5% of weekly disposable income or disposable earnings exceed 30 times the federal minimum wage ($7.25/hour). An additional $2.50 per week for each dependent that lives in the state is protected

Texas

  • Federal limits apply
  • Cannot be terminated for having multiple wage garnishments

Utah

  • 25% of weekly disposable earnings or disposable earnings exceed 30 times the federal minimum wage ($7.25/hour)

Vermont

  • Less than 25% of disposable income (only 15% for consumer credit debts) or if disposable earnings exceed 30 times the minimum wage (40 times for consumer credit debts).
  • Cannot be terminated for having disposable earnings garnished

Virginia

  • 25% of weekly disposable earnings or if disposable earnings exceed 40 times the federal minimum wage ($7.25/hour)

Washington

  • Less than 25% of an employee's weekly disposable earnings or weekly disposable earnings exceeding 25 times the federal minimum wage ($7.25/hour)
  • Cannot be terminated unless there are 3 or more wage garnishments in one year

West Virginia

  • Less than 20% of the employee's disposable earnings or if weekly earnings exceed 30 times the federal minimum wage ($7.25/hour).
  • Cannot be terminated for having multiple wage garnishments

Wisconsin

  • Wages cannot be garnished if the debtor has received any type of welfare benefits for the last six months
  • Wages cannot be garnished if the household income is below the federal poverty line
  • Wages cannot be garnished if 25% of earnings are already being garnished for child support
  • Holder of a payday loan cannot have wages garnished
  • Limits are 20% of the employee's disposable earnings or if disposable earnings exceed 30 times the federal minimum wage ($7.25/hour).
  • Cannot be terminated for having multiple wage garnishments unless they are served three or more garnishments within one year.

Wyoming

  • Federal limits apply
  • Cannot be terminated for having multiple wage garnishments

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