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Stop Wage Garnishment in New Jersey

Dena Standley | August 24, 2023

Dena Standley
Legal Expert, Paralegal
Dena Standley, BA

Dena Standley is a seasoned paralegal with more than 20 years of experience in legal research and writing, having received a certification as a Legal Assistant/Paralegal from Southern Technical College.

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 can cause sleepless nights and high anxiety. Luckily, New Jersey laws protect its residents from unfair or excessive garnishment. There are also ways to stop a wage garnishment once it has started and prevent it from happening in the first place. For example, settling your debt can help you avoid wage garnishment, and SoloSettle makes the debt settlement process easier.

Wage garnishment can be a stressful and mentally exhausting experience for consumers in New Jersey facing financial challenges. When creditors obtain a court order to collect debts through wage garnishment, a portion of your wages is withheld, leaving you with reduced take-home pay.

However, debt collectors in New Jersey must follow strict laws that give directions on the type of income they can garnish, the process involved, and limits to garnishment. The state and federal government uphold these laws that prevent and also assist you in stopping wage garnishment.

Today, SoloSuit will explain New Jersey’s wage garnishment laws and discuss how you can prevent garnishment before it occurs and stop it once it has.

Avoid wage garnishment through debt settlement.

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New Jersey laws for wage garnishment

Wage garnishment laws in New Jersey are governed by state and federal regulations that provide the legal process and limitations for collecting debts from an employee's wages. The following are the primary laws that can guide you as you seek to stop wage garnishment:

  • Amount limitation: The maximum amount that a creditor can garnish from an employee's wages is the lesser of 10% of an income not exceeding 250% of the federal poverty level or up to 25% if you earn more than 250%.
  • Protection for the head of household: If you are the primary wage earner and support a spouse, child, or other dependent, then the maximum amount that can be garnished is reduced to 10% of the disposable income.
  • Permitted exemptions: New Jersey law exempts some debts from wage garnishments, such as child support, spousal support, and taxes. But, the provision does not include voluntary deductions such as life and health insurance.
  • Proper Notification: Creditors must provide written notice to debtors on the impending wage garnishment. The notice must include information about the amount for garnishment, the type of debt, and their rights to respond otherwise.
  • Anti-retaliation protections: New Jersey law prohibits employers from retaliating against employees for having their wages garnished. They should not discharge, discipline, or discriminate against you due to wage garnishment.

After understanding the laws involved in wage garnishment, you can confidently work at stopping the wage garnishment process using the following methods.

Facing financial challenges can be overwhelming, but you don't have to navigate them alone. The Debt Lawyer specializes in offering comprehensive 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.

File an Objection to a Wage Garnishment to stop New Jersey garnishment

Filing an Objection to a Wage Garnishment is a formal process where you challenge or dispute the wage garnishment order issued by the court. New Jersey law gives you the right to contest a creditor's order to garnish your wage on various grounds, including:

  • The amount stated for garnishment is incorrect.
  • The debt collector did not serve you with proper notice for garnishment.
  • Your income qualifies for exemption under state or federal law.
  • You already paid the debt in full.
  • You approached the creditor and made a new arrangement to pay the debt.

Objecting to wage garnishment involves filing a written objection with the court and submitting other documents, such as a certificate of service (to show you served the creditor) and a wage garnishment sheet (if you object to the amount).

Fill out a Wage Garnishment Worksheet

As a part of filing an Objection to a Wage Garnishment in New Jersey, you should also fill out a Wage Garnishment Worksheet form. This form allows you to explain the amount you believe should be garnished by claiming exemptions.

If you think that the amount you are being garnished is too much, you can submit a Wage Garnishment Worksheet with your Objection to a Wage Garnishment. You enter your gross salary and list your items that are exempt from (free from) wage garnishment, including:

  • Federal Income Tax
  • Social Security (FICA or OASDI)
  • Medicare
  • State Income Tax
  • Unemployment Insurance (SUI)
  • Temporary Disability Insurance (TDI)
  • Family Leave Insurance (FLI)
  • Workforce Development Fund/Supplemental Workforce (WFD/SWF)
  • Other (e.g. state pension, city tax)

You can find a Wage Garnishment Worksheet form attached to the Objection to a Wage Garnishment form linked above.

Settle your debt to prevent wage garnishment in New Jersey

Debt settlement can help you prevent wage garnishment.

In a debt settlement, you offer your creditor a portion of the total amount due, usually at least 60% of the debt’s value. In exchange for a lump-sum payment, the creditor agrees to drop its legal claims against you and release you from the remaining balance.

A creditor often considers negotiating a debt settlement if you promise to make a lump-sum payment and clear the remaining amount within a short period. Because of this, debt settlement usually works best if you have some cash saved or expect to receive some money soon

Settling your debt helps you avoid a judgment and wage garnishment. You’ll save some money and move on from this challenging experience.

If you decide to settle your obligation, you’ll want to ensure you get the terms of your agreement in writing and pay the creditor before your court date. If you’ve never tried debt settlement before, consider working with a professional organization that will guide you through the process.

To learn more about how to settle a debt in New Jersey, check out this video:

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.

File for bankruptcy (last resort)

Choose this option if you are struggling with overwhelming debt and do not have any other means to explore. Filing for bankruptcy can be a challenging process because it requires you to:

  • Gather your financial information, including details about your income, expenses, assets, and debts.
  • File for bankruptcy petition after choosing the appropriate bankruptcy chapter.
  • Attend credit counseling sessions from an approved credit counseling agency.
  • Attend the court hearing to find out if you qualify.
  • Receive a discharge after following the court order on what to do with the assets.

Typically, you should only consider bankruptcy as a last resort. Other options, such as debt settlement, might be a better fit for you and come with less repercussions.

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