California Wage Garnishment Basics

A debt collector who alleges that a debtor has failed to repay his or her debt is entitled to file a lawsuit in court to collect the disputed funds. If the debt collector’s lawsuit is successful, the court may order the garnishment of the debtor’s wages until the debt is repaid. As we discuss below, wage garnishment is a method used by courts to ensure that creditors receive the money they are owed. 

If you have received debt collection notices or have been served with a California debt collection lawsuit, below are some things you should know about wage garnishment.  

Wage Garnishment Defined

Wage garnishment is a legal procedure in which an individual’s earnings are withheld by an employer for the payment of a debt. An employer who receives a wage garnishment order must withhold funds from an employee’s paycheck and send them directly to the employee’s creditor. 

The Wage Garnishment Process

Most wage garnishments begin with a debt collection lawsuit. When a debtor loses a debt collection lawsuit and can’t pay the amount owed in full, the court may order the debtor’s employer to withhold a portion of the debtor’s wages. 

California Wage Garnishment Limits

There are limits on how much money a creditor may garnish from an employee’s wages. In California, a creditor may garnish the lesser of:

  • 25% of the debtor’s disposable earnings, or
  • The amount by which the debtor’s weekly disposable earnings exceed 40 times the state hourly minimum wage.

Contact a California Wage Garnishment Attorney 

If you are facing a wage garnishment in California, The Fullman Firm is on your side. Our attorneys have over 40 years of combined experience defending consumers against debt collectors. With our experienced California wage garnishment attorneys in your corner, you can rest assured that you’ll receive the most thorough and aggressive defense possible in your California wage garnishment case. Please contact us today for a free consultation.