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Stop Wage Garnishment In Texas

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: Texas offers its citizens favorable wage garnishment laws that help them keep most of their money. For instance, Texas prevents creditors from garnishing wages for various consumer debts. There are also options to stop and prevent wage garnishment in Texas. Debt settlement is a great way to avoid wage garnishment, and SoloSettle makes settling your debt easier.

Thousands of Texans may endure financial struggles — many due to wage garnishment. Certain creditors can try to collect on debts owed by withholding a debtor's wages. This can impact the debtor's income and make it more difficult for these people to pay their expenses.

Thankfully, Texas wage garnishment laws protect its residents from unfair garnishment orders and practices. Examples include garnishment limitations, exemptions, debt settlement, and bankruptcy. In this article, we’ll break down each of these options and more.

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What is wage garnishment in Texas?

Wage garnishment is authorized by a court order or judgment in Texas. It allows creditors who are owed debts to obtain court orders to collect a portion of the debtor's wages to repay the debt. This court order is sent to the debtor's employer, who must legally withhold a portion of the debtor's wages and send it to the owed party until the debt is resolved.

Who can garnish your wages in Texas?

Few creditors can garnish wages in Texas. The Texas Attorney General’s Office and other government agencies, such as the IRS, have limited power to garnish wages for court-ordered child support, unpaid taxes, student loans, and judgments against the debtor. The Texas Constitution prohibits garnishment of wages for ordinary debts, except for those listed above. Ordinary debts, like medical expenses and credit card debts, are not eligible for wage garnishment.

How much can be garnished in Texas?

According to TX Civ Prac & Rem Code § 63, the maximum amount that can be garnished from a debtor's disposable earnings is around 25% of the amount owed. Disposable earnings are the amount that remains after mandatory deductions, such as taxes, social security, and health insurance premiums.

The following are some exceptions permitted by law.

Income exempt from wage garnishment in Texas

Certain incomes are exempt from wage garnishment in Texas (TX Civ Prac & Rem Code § 63.004), including :

  • Veteran's benefits
  • Worker's compensation benefits
  • Social security benefits
  • Supplemental security income (SSI)
  • Unemployment benefits
  • Child support payments received by the debtor.

To maintain exempt status, these funds must be kept separate, and you must prove they’re used for their intended purposes. Here is an example to illustrate:

Example: Ken had a debt of $2,300 with a debtor. He received a weekly garnishment order of $110. After calculating, he realized the creditor had included his workers’ compensation as part of his weekly income. Ken filed a claim of exemption and provided documentation proving that a third of his weekly income comes from compensation for an injury he got at work. The court reduced the garnishment order to $70.

What happens when your wages are garnished?

If your wages are subject to being garnished, you will likely receive a notice from your employer stating that they have been informed about withholding a portion of your wages. Then, you will receive information about requesting a hearing if you want to dispute the amount being withheld or have objections to the garnishment.

If you don't request a hearing, the garnishment proceedings will continue until the debt is paid in full. If you do request a hearing, you will have an opportunity to present evidence and argue your case against the garnishment. However, the evidentiary burden of proof will be on the debtor to show that the garnishment is improper or that the amount is incorrect.

Settle your debt to avoid wage garnishment in Texas

Wage garnishment is a stressful and financially devastating experience, and there are ways to avoid this and the challenges that come with it.

Staying current on your debts and paying them off quickly is an effective way to avoid wage garnishment. However, if you struggle to make payments, it's important to contact your creditors as quickly as possible to discuss your options and get assistance. Ignoring your debts will only worsen the situation, increasing the likelihood of wage garnishment and reducing the monthly cash you take home.

Discussing your options with your creditors can be beneficial as creditors are often willing to work with you to create a new payment plan or the opportunity to settle your debts for less than the full amount owed. This can be super beneficial to your future and allow you the opportunity to get out of a negative situation.

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.

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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