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Stop Wage Garnishment in Connecticut

Sarah Edwards | June 12, 2023

Sarah Edwards
Legal Expert
Sarah Edwards, BS

Sarah Harris is a professional researcher and writer specializing in legal content. An Emerson College alumna, she holds a Bachelor of Science in Communication from the prestigious Boston institution.

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: Connecticut laws protect you from having your wages garnished unfairly. For example, Connecticut residents cannot have more than 25% of their weekly wages garnished. Debt settlement can help you avoid wage garnishment altogether. Settle your debts and avoid going to court with the help of SoloSettle.

When you’re facing financial difficulties, finding a solution feels impossible — especially if you’re having trouble making ends meet. Taking on more debt than you can reasonably handle or experiencing an unexpected event, like job loss, can make it impossible to stay on top of your obligations.

However, creditors tend to freak out when you stop making regular payments. They may tolerate it for a few months, but you’ll probably incur late fees, making it even harder to get caught up on your debt. If you stop answering creditors’ phone calls and don’t try to resolve the issue, they’ll step up their collection efforts and may even sue you.

If you receive a Summons for a Connecticut debt lawsuit against you, you must take action fast. A debt lawsuit indicates that a creditor or debt collector wants to obtain a judgment so it can garnish your wages. Avoiding a judgment is critical to prevent wage garnishment. Without a judgment, no creditor can take your pay.

Let’s walk through the Connecticut wage garnishment laws so you understand just how serious a debt lawsuit can be.

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Connecticut has tough wage garnishment laws

Every state has its own policies when it comes to wage garnishment. Under Conn. Gen. Stat. § 52-361a, Connecticut limits wage garnishments to the lessor of:

  • 25% of your disposable weekly earnings.
  • The amount of your disposable earnings if they exceed 40 times the Connecticut minimum wage of $15.00 per hour (effective June 1, 2023).

Your disposable earnings equal your salary less any required withholdings, like federal and state taxes.

There are several exemptions available that some people may qualify for. For example, people who receive state benefits like welfare and are working under a special incentive qualify for an exemption from wage garnishment under Conn. Gen. Stat. § 52-352b.

Similarly, income from disability insurance, unemployment, workers’ compensation, and Social Security is exempt from wage garnishment in Connecticut.

Wage garnishment is only possible if the debtor fails to comply with a court-ordered installment payment agreement under Conn. Gen. Stat. § 52-361a. Thus, a creditor must jump through multiple hoops before it can successfully garnish your wages in Connecticut.

Let’s consider an example.

Example: Tony owes Le Bank $1,000 for a loan he stopped making payments on. Le Bank decides to sue Tony in Connecticut for the unpaid debt. It wins the debt lawsuit and obtains a judgment against Tony for the $1,000. The court orders Tony to make $250 monthly payments until he pays off the debt. Tony fails to comply with the installment order, so Le Bank petitions the court for approval to garnish his wages. The petition is successful. Tony earns $1,000 weekly after taxes. Thus, his employer must withhold $250 weekly from Tony’s earnings to repay Le Bank, or 25% of his earnings. This is the lesser of the two alternatives since $1,000 - (40 x $15) equals $400. After four weeks of garnishment, Tony will repay the entire debt.

In our example, Tony will suffer financial hardship over the four weeks. He may find it difficult to pay his other obligations, like rent.

Besides the financial repercussions of the wage garnishment, he may feel embarrassed about his financial problems. His employer will learn of the judgment against him when the court tells it to withhold part of Tony’s pay.

Fortunately, his employer can’t fire him for failing to pay his bills. Under Conn. Gen. Stat. § 52-361a(j), an employer can only terminate an employee for wage garnishment if they have more than seven garnishments in a calendar year.

Learn how to settle your Connecticut debt lawsuit in three simple steps — watch the following video.

Stop a Connecticut wage garnishment by communicating with your creditors

When you feel a debt is beginning to spiral out of control, it’s wise to take action and reach out to your creditors. Sometimes, creditors will help you get back on track with a special payment arrangement. For instance, if you’ve lost your job and don’t have an income, they may give you a few months to get back on your feet before requiring you to resume your payments.

Problems occur when you don’t communicate. Your creditors will begin calling you and sending letters. If you don’t respond, they may sue you or sell your debt to a collections agency, expediting the collections process.

Don't ignore the legal process if you’re the subject of a debt lawsuit. Your best course of action is to find the money to repay the debt. Of course, that’s easier said than done, especially if you don’t have much savings. Consider asking a close relative for a loan or selling a few items you don’t need for cash.

If you can’t come up with the entire amount due, you can pursue a debt settlement. With a debt settlement, you offer the creditor or debt collector a percentage of your debt. In exchange, it agrees to release you from the remaining amount and drop the lawsuit against you.

For example, if you owe $1,000, you might offer $600, or 60% of the debt’s value, to settle the debt. The creditor or debt collector will consider your offer against the other alternative, which is the legal process. If it decides the costs of a judgment and the administrative burden of wage garnishment aren’t worth the effort, it will accept your settlement offer.

Avoiding a creditor won’t stop it from taking legal action

Dealing with a debt you can’t afford to pay can be frustrating, but you’ll want to work out a resolution before it gets out of control. Creditors will usually work with you. However, if the creditor decides to sue you, you must take immediate action to avoid a judgment and wage garnishment in Connecticut.

Is a creditor suing you for debt in Connecticut? Settle your debt with the help of SoloSettle and avoid a judgment.

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