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Stop Wage Garnishment in Oklahoma

Dena Standley | July 17, 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: Oklahoma wage garnishment laws can protect you. For example, in Oklahoma, creditors who win a judgment against you can only seize up to 25% of your disposable earnings. Luckily, you have options to stop wage garnishment in Oklahoma. Otherwise, you can avoid wage garnishment before it begins with the help of SoloSettle.

A debtor’s worst nightmare is finding themselves with a garnishment order that seeks to take away the money that barely meets their daily necessities. In Oklahoma, consumers have laws that protect them from wage garnishment that may plunge them deeper into financial hardship.

Without helpful resources to guide you, it may feel impossible to resolve your debt. Luckily, Oklahoma law gives you a way to fight garnishment orders, and SoloSuit can help you respond to a debt lawsuit and avoid wage garnishment through debt settlement.

Avoid wage garnishment through debt settlement.

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Oklahoma wage garnishment laws

In Oklahoma, federal and state laws govern wage garnishment. In particular, the Consumer Credit Code and Rules of Civil Procedure under Oklahoma Statutes §14A-5-104 through §14A-5-106. These laws outline the rules and procedures creditors must adhere to when seeking to garnish a debtor's wages. The following is a summary of these guidelines:

  • Qualifying debt: Oklahoma allows creditors to garnish debts pertaining to student loans, credit card debts, medical bills, and personal loans. Creditors can garnish your wages if they have sued you and received a judgment against you.

  • Limit on the amount: Section §14A-5-105 of the Oklahoma statutes states that the maximum amount that a debt collector can garnish from your disposable income should not exceed 25% or the amount by which your disposable income exceeds 30 times the federal minimum wage per week ($7.25 per hour).

  • Notification requirement: Before initiating wage garnishment, creditors must give you a written notice at least ten days in advance. The notice must contain information regarding the debt amount, the creditor's intent to garnish wages, and your right to contest the garnishment.

  • Exemptions and protections: Oklahoma law provides exemptions and protections to certain wages, such as Social Security benefits, workers' compensation, and retirement benefits. Additionally, if you can demonstrate that the garnishment would result in financial hardship, you may reduce the amount quoted in the notice.

  • Employer responsibilities: Oklahoma law prevents an employer from discriminating against or discharging an employee undergoing wage garnishment. Instead, they are to provide the information the creditor needs to execute the garnishment order and communicate this to you within a reasonable time.

Undoubtedly, these laws favor the consumer more than the creditors, which allows you to fight the garnishment order using the following methods.

Object to the wage garnishment

When you object to wage garnishment, you are stating that you believe it is unjust, invalid, or improper, and you are seeking to have it stopped or modified. Objecting to wage garnishment involves filing a written objection with the court that issued the garnishment order. The objection should clearly state the reasons for contesting the garnishment, such as:

  • Incorrect amount: This can occur if the amount the creditor wishes to garnish exceeds Oklahoma's legal limit.
  • Exemption: Your income may be exempt from garnishment if it falls under those protected by the government. For example, disability, veteran, workers' compensation, and retirement benefits.
  • Financial hardship: If you are the primary wage earner, Oklahoma law makes it possible for you to receive some relief from wage garnishment.
  • Procedural errors: Object to the order if the creditor or your employer did not serve the notice within the time allotted by the state laws.

File a Claim for Exemption

When you file a Claim for Exemption in Oklahoma, you notify the court and the creditor that you are asserting your right to protect part or your entire income from wage garnishment. Here are the steps to file a claim of exemption in Oklahoma include the following:

  1. Determine which exemptions are relevant to your situation and can be used to protect your earnings. For example, you are the head of the household, your earnings fall below the federal minimum wage, or you receive public assistance.
  2. Fill out an exemption form provided by the court to assert your claim.
  3. File the document with the court that issued the judgment and send a copy to the creditor attempting to collect the debt.
  4. Attend a hearing to determine the validity of your exemption claim.
  5. Await a decision based on the applicable laws and regulations in Oklahoma.

Oklahoma’s law website has a program that can walk you through each of these steps. It will help you determine if you are eligible for an exemption and fill out the necessary Claim for Exemption forms.

Now, let’s look at an example of filing a Claim for Exemption to stop a wage garnishment in Oklahoma.

Example: Sarah is a single mother with two young children and works part-time as a cashier at a grocery store. She relies on public assistance from Action for Needy Families and Nutrition Assistance Program to help make ends meet. Sarah owes Credit Union $2,200, and they sent a garnishment order of $165. With the help of a free online lawyer, she filed a claim for exemption, and the court ruled that Credit Union could not garnish her wages because it falls under the public assistance exemption category.

Avoid wage garnishment through debt settlement

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 Oklahoma, 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.

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