Start My Answer

Stop Wage Garnishment in Massachusetts

Sarah Edwards | May 10, 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.

Summary: Wage garnishment in Massachusetts allows creditors to take 15% of your weekly income. One of the best ways to prevent a Michigan wage garnishment is to settle your debt with the help of SoloSettle.

Is a creditor or debt collector hounding you for money? Finding the cash to repay your bills can be tricky, especially if you’re experiencing financial issues. Unexpected expenses, medical problems, and family emergencies can all impact your ability to repay your debts.

While it may be tempting to ignore a creditor until you get on better financial footing, you’re putting yourself at risk for a debt lawsuit and potential wage garnishment. Creditors don’t like it when you ignore them, and they’ll likely step up their attempts to collect money from you.

If a creditor or debt collector initiates a lawsuit against you, you must react quickly by repaying the debt, setting up a payment arrangement, or settling the matter. If your creditor wins a debt lawsuit, they’ll obtain a judgment that allows them to garnish your Massachusetts wages.

You can avoid wage garnishment entirely when you settle the debt before going to court.

Settle with SoloSettle

Make an Offer

Massachusetts wage garnishment laws can protect you

Massachusetts laws concerning wage garnishment are a bit more lenient than in other states, but that doesn’t mean you won’t pay. According to Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 246 § 28, creditors and debt collectors who obtain a judgment against you can garnish your wages for the lesser of:

  • 15% of your gross wages.
  • Your disposable income minus 50 times the greater of Massachusetts or federal minimum wage.

Your gross wages equal your entire salary for the week before taxes and other withholdings. Some states limit wage garnishment to a percentage of disposable income, which is net pay after taxes and other legally required deductions. However, Massachusetts isn’t one of them.

The current minimum wage in Massachusetts is $15.00 hourly, and the federal minimum wage is $7.25 per hour. When calculating the amount of your wage garnishment, authorities will compare the withholding using the Massachusetts minimum wage against 15% of your gross wages. The lesser option will be the amount of your weekly wage garnishment.

Let’s consider an example.

Example: Harriet owes $2,500 for an old CarMax loan she stopped paying. CarMax sues her for debt in Massachusetts and wins a judgment. It uses the judgment against Harriet to garnish her wages. Currently, Harriet earns $1,250 weekly in gross wages. A garnishment will allow CarMax to obtain 15% of Harriet’s weekly income, or $187.50, until she pays off her debt. That is the lesser of the two options since $1,250 - (50 x $15) = $500. The CarMax garnishment will continue for 14 weeks until Harriet pays the entire debt.

Avoid a judgment in Massachusetts

You’ll want to keep on good terms with your creditors to prevent wage garnishment in Massachusetts. Creditors have no reason to pursue legal action against you unless you stop paying your bills. That’s when things tend to go south.

If you’re just a few months behind on a credit card, the creditor will likely be amenable to a payment arrangement to get you back on track. It may agree to forgo late fees or extra interest if you get current on your payments. However, if you ignore a creditor’s phone calls and letters, it may pursue legal action against you or sell your obligation to a debt collector.

Once a creditor or debt collector decides to sue you, you must make some crucial decisions. The best course of action is to repay the debt. Paying your obligation prevents a judgment against you and wage garnishment. You’ll avoid court and any further legal ramifications.

Learn how to settle a debt in three steps with this video:

However, repaying the debt isn’t always possible. Sometimes, people can’t come up with the entire amount due. If that’s the case for you, you can try to settle the debt or set up a payment arrangement.

In a debt settlement, you offer a percentage of the total amount due as a one-time payment. In exchange, your creditor agrees to release you from the remaining balance and drops the lawsuit. The more you can offer your creditor, the more likely it will agree to a settlement.

Creditors and debt collectors view settlements as advantageous since they’ll collect most of your obligation and avoid the administrative burden of court and wage garnishment.

If a creditor sues you for debt in Massachusetts, use SoloSettle to arrange a settlement.

If you successfully settle your debt, you no longer need to worry about wage garnishment. Keep out of future trouble by staying on top of your finances.

I have a Massachusetts judgment, and my creditor is going to garnish my wages. What are my options?

When a creditor wins a judgment against you, it will probably initiate wage garnishment quickly. You’ll have just a few weeks before your employer will dock your pay and send the garnished wages to your creditor.

To stop the process from reaching your employer, you can arrange to repay the obligation immediately. At this point, a settlement is probably off the table. The creditor will want the entire amount due.

If you can’t fully repay the debt, bankruptcy is the only alternative to avoid wage garnishment.

Declaring bankruptcy is serious, and you’ll want to think very carefully before starting the process. Bankruptcy will damage your credit for years, making it difficult to obtain a new loan or buy a home. In some cases, it may be better to put up with a few months of garnished wages than years of financial pain brought on by bankruptcy.

However, people who are deep in debt and don’t see a feasible way out may find bankruptcy attractive. Bankruptcy will eliminate most unsecured debts, giving you a clean financial slate you can use to start over.

Stop a Massachusetts wage garnishment in its tracks

Once you get on a creditor’s bad side, it may decide to take legal action against you. You can protect yourself from judgment and wage garnishment by paying or settling the debt. Don’t let the situation worsen; determine your options and take the appropriate action.

Is a creditor suing you for debt in Massachusetts? Settle your debt with SoloSettle.

What is SoloSuit?

SoloSuit makes it easy to fight debt collectors.

You can use SoloSuit to respond to a debt lawsuit, to send letters to collectors, and even to settle a debt.

SoloSuit's Answer service is a step-by-step web-app that asks you all the necessary questions to complete your Answer. Upon completion, we'll have an attorney review your document and we'll file it for you.

>>Read the FastCompany article: Debt Lawsuits Are Complicated: This Website Makes Them Simpler To Navigate

>>Read the NPR story on SoloSuit. (We can help you in all 50 states.)

How to answer a summons for debt collection in your state

Here's a list of guides for other states.

All 50 states.

Guides on how to beat every debt collector

Being sued by a different debt collector? Were making guides on how to beat each one.

We have answers

Join our community of over 40,000 people.

You can ask your questions on the SoloSuit forum and the community will help you out. Whether you need help now are are just look for support, we're here for you.

Get Started

Win against credit card companies

Is your credit card company suing you? Learn how you can beat each one.

Going to Court for Credit Card Debt — Key Tips

How to Negotiate Credit Card Debts

How to Settle a Credit Card Debt Lawsuit — Ultimate Guide

Get answers to these FAQs

Need more info on statutes of limitations? Read our 50-state guide.

Why do debt collectors block their phone numbers?

How long do debt collectors take to respond to debt validation letters?

What are the biggest debt collector companies in the US?

Is Zombie Debt Still a Problem in 2019?

SoloSuit FAQ

If a car is repossessed, do I still owe the debt?

Is Portfolio Recovery Associates Legit?

Is There a Judgment Against Me Without my Knowledge?

Should I File Bankruptcy Before or After a Judgment?

What is a default judgment?— What do I do?

Summoned to Court for Medical Bills — What Do I Do?

What Happens If Someone Sues You and You Have No Money?

What Happens If You Never Answer Debt Collectors?

What Happens When a Debt Is Sold to a Collection Agency

What is a Stipulated Judgment?

What is the Deadline for a Defendants Answer to Avoid a Default Judgment?

Can a Judgement Creditor Take my Car?

Can I Settle a Debt After Being Served?

Can I Stop Wage Garnishment?

Can You Appeal a Default Judgement?

Do I Need a Debt Collection Defense Attorney?

Do I Need a Payday Loans Lawyer?

Do student loans go away after 7 years? — Student Loan Debt Guide

Am I Responsible for My Spouses Medical Debt?

Should I Marry Someone With Debt?

Can a Debt Collector Leave a Voicemail?

How Does Debt Assignment Work?

What Happens If a Defendant Does Not Pay a Judgment?

How Does Debt Assignment Work?

Can You Serve Someone with a Collections Lawsuit at Their Work?

What Is a Warrant in Debt?

How Many Times Can a Judgment be Renewed in Oklahoma?

Can an Eviction Be Reversed?

Does Debt Consolidation Have Risks?

What Happens If You Avoid Getting Served Court Papers?

Does Student Debt Die With You?

Can Debt Collectors Call You at Work in Texas?

How Much Do You Have to Be in Debt to File for Chapter 7?

What Is the Statute of Limitations on Debt in Washington?

How Long Does a Judgment Last?

Can Private Disability Payments Be Garnished?

Can Debt Collectors Call From Local Numbers?

Does the Fair Credit Reporting Act Work in Florida?

The Truth: Should You Never Pay a Debt Collection Agency?

Should You Communicate with a Debt Collector in Writing or by Telephone?

Do I Need a Debt Negotiator?

What Happens After a Motion for Default Is Filed?

Can a Process Server Leave a Summons Taped to My Door?

Learn More With These Additional Resources:

Need help managing your finances? Check out these resources.

How to Make a Debt Validation Letter - The Ultimate Guide

How to Make a Motion to Compel Arbitration Without an Attorney

How to Stop Wage Garnishment — Everything You Need to Know

How to File an FDCPA Complaint Against Your Debt Collector (Ultimate Guide)

Defending Yourself in Court Against a Debt Collector

Tips on you can to file an FDCPA lawsuit against a debt collection agency

Advice on how to answer a summons for debt collection.

Effective strategies for how to get back on track after a debt lawsuit

New Hampshire Statute of Limitations on Debt

Sample Cease and Desist Letter Against Debt Collectors

The Ultimate Guide to Responding to a Debt Collection Lawsuit in Utah

West Virginia Statute of Limitations on Debt

What debt collectors cannot do — FDCPA explained

Defending Yourself in Court Against Debt Collector

How to Liquidate Debt

Arkansas Statute of Limitations on Debt

Youre Drowning in Debt — Heres How to Swim

Help! Im Being Sued by My Debt Collector

How to Make a Motion to Vacate Judgment

How to Answer Summons for Debt Collection in Vermont

North Dakota Statute of Limitations on Debt

ClearPoint Debt Management Review

Indiana Statute of Limitations on Debt

Oregon Eviction Laws - What They Say

CuraDebt Debt Settlement Review

How to Write a Re-Aging Debt Letter

How to Appear in Court by Phone

How to Use the Doctrine of Unclean Hands

Debt Consolidation in Eugene, Oregon

Summoned to Court for Medical Bills? What to Do Next

How to Make a Debt Settlement Agreement

Received a 3-Day Eviction Notice? Heres What to Do

How to Answer a Lawsuit for Debt Collection

Tips for Leaving the Country With Unpaid Credit Card Debt

Kansas Statute of Limitations on Debt Collection

How to File in Small Claims Court in Iowa

How to File a Civil Answer in Kings County Supreme Court

Roseland Associates Debt Consolidation Review

How to Stop a Garnishment

Debt Eraser Review

Do Debt Collectors Ever Give Up?

Can They Garnish Your Wages for Credit Card Debt?

How Often Do Credit Card Companies Sue for Non-Payment?

How Long Does a Judgement Last?

​​How Long Before a Creditor Can Garnish Wages?

How to Beat a Bill Collector in Court

Not sued yet?

Use our Debt Validation Letter.

Out Debt Validation Letter is the best way to respond to a collection letter. Many debt collectors will simply give up after receiving it.

Let's Do It

It only takes 15 minutes.

And 50% of our customers' cases have been dismissed in the past.

"Finding yourself on the wrong side of the law unexpectedly is kinda scary. I started researching on YouTube and found SoloSuit's channel. The videos were so helpful, easy to understand and encouraging. When I reached out to SoloSuit they were on it. Very professional, impeccably prompt. Thanks for the service!" - Heather

Get Started