Start My Answer

Stop Wage Garnishment in Pennsylvania

Dena Standley | June 23, 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: Pennsylvania wage garnishment laws protect consumers from having their primary source of income taken by creditors. The laws limit the amount a creditor can take and give debtors the opportunity to challenge the order. If your wages are being garnished in Pennsylvania, you can stop it by objecting to the garnishment or filing a claim of exemption. Alternatively, you can avoid wage garnishment through debt settlement.

If you're facing financial struggles in Pennsylvania and have fallen behind on loan and credit card payments, you may be at risk of having your wages garnished. Wage garnishment is a legal process that permits debt collectors to collect a portion of your wages directly from your paycheck to repay debts.

It can be a stressful experience to see your paycheck with your regular pay reduced by up to 25%, which leaves you with reduced income to cover your essential expenses. However, Pennsylvania has laws to protect consumers from excessive wage garnishment.

Understanding your rights and options is crucial in stopping wage garnishment and regaining control of your finances. This article will discuss the laws you need to know and various methods to stop wage garnishment in Pennsylvania.

Avoid wage garnishment through debt settlement.

Settle with SoloSettle

Make an Offer

Pennsylvania wage garnishment laws

The Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes under section 42 PA Cons Stat § 8127 outlines the wage garnishment laws. Additional provisions to support the state laws are found within the federal laws 15 U.S.C. § 1673. Here is a summary of the most crucial laws:

  • Limitations on the amount: In Pennsylvania, debt collectors can garnish up to 25% of your disposable earnings or the amount by which your disposable income surpasses 30 times the federal minimum wage, whichever is less.

  • Protection for the head of household: Pennsylvania law allows for additional protection if you are the head of the home and provide more than 50% of the support for a dependent. For instance, creditors can only garnish 10% of your disposable earnings or the amount by which your disposable earnings exceed 50 times the federal minimum wage.

  • Income exemptions: Pennsylvania also exempts some earnings from wage garnishment, including Social Security, disability benefits, retirement benefits, workers' compensation, and unemployment compensation.

  • Garnishment prioritization: Pennsylvania follows a priority system for multiple garnishments. If you have more than one garnishment, they must be satisfied in the order they were served, unless one of them is for child or spousal support.

  • Employer responsibility: Under 15 U.S.C. § 1674 of Federal law, an employer cannot discriminate or terminate you because your earnings are under garnishment.

Object to the wage garnishment

You have the right to object to wage garnishment in Pennsylvania if you believe it is incorrect or illegal. The following are the reasons you can use in your document:

  • The debt amount is inaccurate as per the state and federal limits
  • Your income is undergoing multiple garnishments
  • Improper or delayed notice by the creditor and employer
  • Identity theft or mistaken identity
  • You are facing extreme financial hardship

Once you are ready to file the objection, download or pick a form from the court the garnishment order came from and fill in the required information. Afterward, the court may request a hearing and decide whether to uphold the earlier decision or eliminate or reduce the garnishment order.

On that note, do you have another outstanding debt that a creditor may go to the same root of filing a lawsuit? If they do, you can fight back by sending a powerful Answer document. Learn more in the following video.

File a Claim of Exemption

Filing a claim of exemption in Pennsylvania allows you to protect a percentage of your income from garnishment for a loan or credit card debt. Some reasons you can use to file for exemption include the following:

  • You are the sole or main provider in the home
  • The amount garnished exceeds the state limit
  • Your income is under the federal poverty line
  • Your wages are under the government-protected benefits

To improve your chances of succeeding in getting an exemption, follow these steps:

  1. Identify what part of your income is eligible for exemption under Pennsylvania law.
  2. Obtain the Claim of Exemption form from the court that issued the garnishment order.
  3. Fill out the form and file it within ten days from the date indicated in the order.
  4. Attend the hearing and carry the evidence required to prove your case.
  5. Follow any additional court procedures or requirements as directed by the judge.
  6. Await the court’s decision that will either approve or deny your request.

Let's look at an example of how to stop a wage garnishment in Pennsylvania.

Example: Anna is a retired teacher who receives a monthly pension as her primary source of income. She has been struggling with credit card debt and defaulted on payments, leading to a wage garnishment order issued by PenStar Financials. However, Anna's only source of income is her pension, which is considered a retirement benefit. Hence, she files for an exemption, explaining that the pension is her only source of income for her basic living expenses. The court reviewed Anna's claim and lifted the wage garnishment order per Pennsylvania law.

Prevent wage garnishment before it happens

One way to stop wage garnishment before it even happens is through negotiating a debt settlement.

You may believe your creditor doesn't want to participate in negotiations because they are upset about the process you’ve taken them through in court. Surprisingly, creditors are often willing to negotiate even at the garnishment stage. The catch is that you must make a lump sum payment and pay the remaining amount within a reasonable time.

Notably, negotiating with creditors can be challenging, and it's essential to approach it with a clear understanding of your financial situation. You must also have realistic expectations and be willing to find a mutually beneficial solution. Fortunately, SoloSettle is a tool that helps you achieve this goal without the risk of being exploited by creditors or debt collectors.

File for bankruptcy as a last resort

Filing for bankruptcy should be the last option if you cannot find a better way to beat the garnishment order. Remember that only some qualify for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy, and you have to meet the federal criteria. In addition, you are often required to go for credit counseling sessions from an approved agency before going through the process.

For more help managing your debts at various stages, visit the SoloSuit page. You can watch our YouTube Videos, read our informative articles, and use our legal documents to help you respond to debt collection efforts. Explore our resources today.

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