Start My Answer

Stop Wage Garnishment in Wisconsin

Dena Standley | June 13, 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: Wisconsin stands out from other states because it allows creditors to garnish wages for several weeks before requiring another garnishment order. Fortunately, there are other laws that protect consumers from falling into extreme financial hardship. You can also avoid wage garnishment altogether by settling your debt with the help of SoloSettle.

When you owe money to a creditor, they may take legal action to collect the debt when you fail to pay. If a creditor wins a debt collection case against you, they can then obtain a court order to garnish your wages.

Garnishment can cause extreme financial hardship for consumers struggling to pay the bills. A wage garnishment order requires your employer to withhold a percentage of your wages and send it to the creditor.

In Wisconsin, wage garnishment can make paying for essential expenses such as rent, food, and utilities difficult. It can also lead to further financial hardship, such as missed payments on other bills and debt accumulation. As a result, you may have more than one garnishment order unless you respond to the lawsuit with an Answer and, if necessary, offer to settle the debt.

If you're experiencing wage garnishment in Wisconsin, it's essential to take action to protect your rights and financial well-being. Legal options available to stop or reduce wage garnishment include objecting to the garnishment order, filing a claim of exemption, negotiating a repayment plan with your creditor, or filing for bankruptcy. This article will discuss these options.

But before that, you need to know the Wisconsin wage garnishment laws.

Avoid wage garnishment through debt settlement.

Settle with SoloSettle

Make an Offer

Wisconsin wage garnishment laws can protect you

Wisconsin garnishment laws regulate the wage garnishment process in the state. These regulations and federal laws protect the debtors' rights and ensure creditors follow legal procedures when collecting debts. Here are five laws related to garnishment in Wisconsin.

Amount Limitation

In Wisconsin, the maximum amount that can be garnished is 20% of disposable earnings or the amount by which disposable income surpasses 30 times the federal minimum wage ($7.25), whichever is less. (Wis. Stat. Ann. § 812.34-2)

Exemptions and Protections

Wisconsin garnishment laws protect certain incomes from garnishment through exemptions. These earnings include workers' compensation, retirement, veteran, and disability benefits. In addition, section 812.35 1a prevents payday loans from using garnishment to get their money back.

Notice requirements

Creditors must provide a notice of garnishment to the debtor and their employer at least seven days before the garnishment begins. The notice must include information about the debt figure, the garnishment amount, and the debtor's right to object.

Time limits on garnishment

Wisconsin stands out from most states because it limits the period a creditor can garnish wages. Garnishments can continue for up to 13 weeks, after which the creditor must obtain a new court order to continue garnishing wages (Wis. Stat. Ann 812.35 (6)).

Employer retaliation:

Employers are prohibited from retaliating against employees undergoing wage garnishment. Hence, employers cannot terminate, demote, or discriminate against an employee because of a single wage garnishment.

Having these laws in mind will give you a head start in reducing or stopping wage garnishment in Wisconsin. Let's discuss how to go about it.

Object to the wage garnishment

Wisconsin gives you the right to object to wage garnishment after a creditor delivers the garnishment order. Responding to the issues accurately and with evidence is the key to succeeding in court. The reasons you can use in the wage garnishment objection form are as follows:

  • The garnishment amount is incorrect due to a mistake in the creditor's calculations or an error in the court order.
  • The garnishment would cause undue financial hardship, and you can prove it.
  • The creditor and your employer did not follow the proper procedure.
  • You have already paid the debt or have entered a settlement agreement with the creditor.

After you file the objection with the court, you may be required to go for a hearing to argue your case. To avoid going through this process with your other debts, you can offer to settle for less than you owe. Learn more about how to avoid wage garnishment through debt settlement in this video:

File a claim of exemption

In Wisconsin, debtors can file a claim of exemption to protect a portion of their income from garnishment. Here is a general procedure for filing a claim of exemption in Wisconsin:

  1. Obtain a claim of exemption form from the court that gave the order.
  2. Complete the form and provide supporting documentation.
  3. File the completed form so the court can review the claim and determine whether to grant the exemption.
  4. Attend the hearing if the court sends an invitation.
  5. Await the court's decision to grant or reject the exemption.

When the court grants your request, they will modify, reduce, or stop the garnishment order.

Here is an illustration to explain a positive claim of exemption outcome.

Example: Kate received a garnishment order of $120 from Care Credits for an outstanding debt of $2,300. Her weekly wage is $ 600, and CC believed the entire wage was eligible for garnishment. But Kate also receives a $ 200 workers’ compensation for a previous workplace injury. Hence, her regular weekly salary is $400. She filed a Claim of Exemption with her county court, and the judge confirmed this information to be true. Thus, the court reduced the garnishment order from $120 to $80.

Negotiate with the creditor

Fortunately, creditors in Wisconsin welcome negotiations due to the strict law permitting them to garnish wages for 13 weeks only. After that, they have to file a new order. Creditors know the garnishment process is time-consuming and costly. So, they are willing to accept a relatively lower settlement offer.

To ensure a favorable deal, use a platform that allows experts to monitor the negotiation process. SoloSettle meets these requirements well and protects your sensitive financial and personal information.

File for bankruptcy

Consider bankruptcy if all the above options fail to reduce or stop the garnishment order. Chapter 7 and 13 bankruptcy options allow you to start afresh, but you still lose most assets in an effort to clear the debts. Additionally, bankruptcy remains on your credit report for ten years, making it hard to get a new line of credit.

SoloSuit has helped thousands of debtors avoid bankruptcy by offering educational content to help them get out of debt.

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