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New York Garnishment Laws – Overview

Chloe Meltzer | March 11, 2024

Chloe Meltzer
Legal Expert
Chloe Meltzer, MA

Chloe Meltzer is an experienced content writer specializing in legal content creation. She holds a degree in English Literature from Arizona State University, complemented by a Master’s in Marketing from California Polytechnic State University-San Luis Obispo.

Edited by Hannah Locklear

Hannah Locklear
Editor at SoloSuit
Hannah Locklear, BA

Hannah Locklear is SoloSuit’s Marketing and Impact Manager. With an educational background in Linguistics, Spanish, and International Development from Brigham Young University, Hannah has also worked as a legal support specialist for several years.

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.

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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 yo u 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.

You don't have to fight wage garnishment alone.

Facing wage garnishment can be overwhelming, but you don't have to navigate them alone. The Debt Lawyer specializes in offering comprehensive wage garnishment and bankruptcy solutions for residents of New Jersey and New York with a team of seasoned team of legal professionals dedicated to providing personalized guidance every step of the way. Whether you're considering filing for bankruptcy or just seeking clarity about your financial situation, you have resources.

Moreover, SoloSuit is also a great resource to help you respond to a debt lawsuit and prevent wage garnishment through debt settlement.

Avoid wage garnishment through debt settlement

To settle a debt, you must offer the creditor a portion of the balance in one lump-sum payment. If it agrees to the settlement — and you hold up to your end of the bargain — the creditor will drop the lawsuit against you and release you from any remaining claims.

If you can negotiate a debt settlement, the debt lawsuit and the potential for wage garnishment go away.

SoloSettle, powered by SoloSuit, is a tech-based approach to debt settlement. Our software helps you send and receive settlement offers until you reach an agreement with the collector. Once an agreement is reached, we’ll help you manage the settlement documentation and transfer your payment to the creditor or debt collector, helping you keep your financial information private and secure.

Read more: Stop Wage Garnishment in New York

To learn more about how to stop wage garnishment through debt settlement in New York, check out this video:

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