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Stop Wage Garnishment in Maine

Sarah Edwards | April 19, 2023

Sarah Edwards
Legal Expert
Sarah Edwards, BS

Sarah Edwards 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.

There are ways to stop wage garnishment in Maine.

Summary: If you’re the subject of a Maine wage garnishment, your creditor can seize up to 25% of your weekly disposable earnings. If you settle the debt before going to court, you can avoid wage garnishment and move on with your life. SoloSettle can help you navigate the debt settlement process and from start to finish.

Debt’s a real pain, isn’t it? When you first signed up for a credit card or took out a loan, you probably didn’t think you’d have trouble paying it back. You used the money to buy a few things you needed or wanted — but life happened, and you couldn’t pay your bills. Now, you’re in trouble and might face a debt lawsuit.

If a creditor decides to sue you, it’s fed up with not receiving any payments toward your outstanding obligation. The creditor is taking more drastic action; if it wins, it might garnish your wages.

Wage garnishment is pretty serious. In wage garnishment, your creditor tells your employer to withhold a portion of your income until you repay your debt. A successful wage garnishment can take a hefty chunk of your paycheck, making it more difficult to pay for other things you need or support your family.

Luckily, there are ways to stop, and even prevent, wage garnishment in Maine. Settling your debt is one of the best ways to avoid a court judgment and garnished wages. SoloSettle makes the debt settlement process simple. This article will explore all these things and more.

First, let's take a look at Maine's wage garnishment laws.

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Maine has tough wage garnishment laws

The federal government has established a set of limitations for wage garnishment, which are pretty strict. Each state has the right to include federal wage garnishment limitations in its laws or adopt a more lenient policy. Maine has adopted specific state rules for wage garnishment, but they follow the stringent federal guidelines closely.

Under 9-A ME Rev Stat § 5-105, creditors can garnish your wages for the lesser of:

  • 25% of your disposable earnings.
  • The amount your disposable earnings exceed 40 times the state minimum wage, which is currently $13.80.

Disposable earnings equal your wages minus any required withholdings, like federal and state tax. Voluntary deductions, like health and life insurance, are not included in these withholdings.

Let’s consider an example.

Example: Sherry has a TJ Maxx credit card she ran up for $1,500. She stopped paying the bill, and TJ Maxx sued her for the outstanding balance. After TJ Maxx won its lawsuit, it started the wage garnishment process. Sherry makes $1,000 in weekly disposable earnings as a teacher. Under Maine laws, TJ Maxx can garnish Sherry’s wages for 25% of her disposable earnings, or $250 weekly. That amount is less than the other option of $448, or $1,000 - ($13.80 x 40). Sherry’s employer will withhold the $250 each week for six weeks until Sherry repays her debt.

You don’t have to accept a wage garnishment

When you receive a court Summons for a debt lawsuit against you, it’s crucial to take action fast. Review the contents of the Summons, which should include a Complaint describing the reason for the case and the amount you owe. Look for any mistakes in the Complaint and note them. For instance, if the amount of the debt doesn’t agree with your records, that’s important.

Next, you’ll want to prepare an Answer. An Answer is your written response to the lawsuit and identifies any defenses you have against the debt. Submitting an Answer stops your creditor from asking the judge for a default judgment against you in court. Instead, the judge must listen to both sides of the case before making a decision.

If you’re not familiar with drafting an Answer, SoloSuit can help. Use our Debt Answer template to respond to your debt lawsuit in Maine.

After submitting an Answer, it’s time to get down to brass tacks. You’ll want to pay off or settle the debt with your creditor to avoid a judgment and stop wage garnishment.

Paying the debt entirely is the best option. When you pay off the debt, your creditor will drop the lawsuit against you, and you’ll (hopefully) never hear from it again.

However, you may not have the money to pay the entire obligation. If that’s the case, you can try to settle the debt before going to court. In a debt settlement, you offer your creditor a fraction of the amount due in a one-time payment. In exchange, it agrees to release you from the remaining balance.

Read on to learn more about debt settlement.

Settle your debt to avoid wage garnishment

Debt settlement typically involves working with a debt settlement agency to settle your debts for a fraction of their total value. You start by providing the company with a list of all the obligations you want to pay. The agency will create a payment plan for you, and you’ll send them a specific amount of money each month, which they’ll put in a dedicated account for you.

While working with the debt settlement agency, you stop paying your creditors. Once you have enough money in your settlement bank account, the debt settlement company will start negotiating with your creditors one by one. You'll pay the amount due when they reach a settlement agreement with your lender.

The process repeats until you settle all of your debts and graduate from the program.

Debt settlement companies can be expensive, time-consuming, and even scammy. Luckily, you can work out a debt settlement on your own with the help of SoloSettle.

SoloSettle makes debt settlement easy

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 your creditor or debt collector.

Here are a few features that make SoloSettle unique:

  • You can settle debts of any size with SoloSettle. Many debt settlement companies require you to have a debt over $15k.
  • SoloSettle actively attempts to settle your debt, whereas many debt settlement companies take a more passive role, waiting for settlement offers to come to them.
  • SoloSettle is offered by SoloSuit, a trusted brand and a legitimate company. Many traditional debt settlement companies are actual scams.
  • SoloSettle has legal defense built in with SoloSuit. While settling, you can use SoloSuit to block lawsuits if you need. Most debt settlement companies don’t provide legal defense; if you’re sued for a debt you are on your own.

To learn more about how wSoloSettle can help you settle your debt and avoid wage garnishment, check out this video:

Resolving your debt stops wage garnishment

You don’t want to lose a sizeable chunk of your weekly wages to wage garnishment, so why allow your creditor to win a debt lawsuit? Instead, try to pay off or settle the debt before the court date. If you’re successful, you can move on from a stressful situation — and never look back.

SoloSettle can help you settle your Maine debt fast. Try it today!

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