Garnishment Laws in Michigan: What Can a Creditor Legally Take?
Managing debt can be challenging. Often it is a careful balancing act between the available resources and demands of your budget and creditors. There is no faster way to disturb this balance than with a garnishment! If you are in this situation, seek resolution now and before your bank account is cleaned out or a significant portion of your check is handed over to your creditor. We can help and protection is immediate.
Call our office today at 866-261-8282 for a free initial consultation. We will meet with you to discuss:
- How to put an immediate stop to your garnishment.
- Possibility to get your money back if it has already been garnished, depending on how much was taken and when.
- How to deal with other bills and debts so that similar collections don’t occur.
- How to get your credit back on track to begin rebuilding your credit score.
Types of Garnishments
There are two types of garnishments:
- Periodic Garnishment: This is used to take money that is paid to you through wages, rent from a tenant or land contract or other debt that is paid to you on a periodic basis. It is valid for 91 days or until the judgment, interest and costs are paid off, whichever occurs first. As such, the garnishment will continue each pay period for the 91 days or until the debt is paid off.
- Non-Periodic Garnishment: This is used to remove money from your bank account or other property. Once the money has been garnished under the non-periodic writ, the writ is no longer valid and another writ must be issued.
Get Debt Resolution
Dealing with judgments and subsequent garnishment can seem overwhelming. Don’t ignore the problem, as it will only be compounded once you begin losing money – funds that you may need to pay living expenses and legal fees to resolve the situation. We help clients legally stop garnishments by eliminating the debt with a Chapter 7 or consolidating the debt with a Chapter 13.
Where can Creditors take money from?
In order to satisfy the debt, money can legally be garnished from:
- Your wages: A whopping 25% if your wages over $217.50 per week can be taken pursuant to the Consumer Credit Protection Act.
- Bank accounts
- Michigan income tax refund
- Most rent payment and land contract payments
Are there any areas of my finances that are exempt from garnishment?
Yes, there are certain things that a creditor can’t touch.
- Federal and City income tax refunds
- Social Security benefits, although you must prove the exemption within 14 days and there are exceptions depending on the judge. For instance, if Social Security income is deposited into a bank account, you must prove the amount in the account being garnished is traceable to Social Security. When income other than Social Security is also in the account, some judges allow garnishment of the entire amount.
- Supplemental Security (SSI), state welfare and Veteran’s benefits. Although federal benefits are subject to set-off for child support, alimony and debts owed to the federal government.
- Unemployment compensation, worker’s compensation, state and federal civil service retirement benefits and military retirement benefits.
- IRAs and life insurance payable to a spouse or child of the insured
- Pension benefits cannot be garnished before they are paid, but once received, they CAN be garnished.
How can I stop a garnishment?
It is best to stop a garnishment before it starts. If you have a judgment filed against you, assume the next step is to get into your wallet through a garnishment! Wherever you are in the process, we can help. We offer two debt resolution options, both of which provide you with immediate court protection and the opportunity to recoup funds that may have already been taken from you.
- Chapter 7 Debt Elimination:
The program will not only eliminate the debt that the garnishment is stemming from, but also fully discharge any other unsecured debt obligations such as credit card debt, medical bills, personal loans and loan deficiencies (from home foreclosure, vehicle repossession, etc.). This program provides a fresh financial start and an opportunity to rebuild your credit.
- Chapter 13 Debt Consolidation
Chapter 13 is a court-authorized repayment program. It is designed to create a reasonable and balanced budget, focus on credit improvement and provide debt relief for whatever balances remain on unsecured debts at the completion of the 36 – 60 month repayment plan.
Not only will you enjoy court protection from a judgment and/or garnishment, but the Chapter 13 program can also legally remove second mortgage, stop home foreclosure, vehicle repossession and other creditor actions to provide you with breathing room to restructure your finances.
We are Here to Help
If you are faced with an impending garnishment and worried about how it will affect the rest of your finances or even if you have already seen money taken out of your paycheck – we can help! Not only can we provide you with a free evaluation of your finances and an expert recommendation on how to best resolve the garnishment, we can also let you know if we can retrieve funds that may have already been taken from you.
Don’t wait until garnishment wreaks havoc on your budget and personal life, call us to understand how to bring legal and final resolution to your debts and work towards rebuilding your credit and financial future. Please call us toll free at 866-261-8282 or click here to schedule a consultation right now. We provide phone consultations or in-person meetings at any of our convenient office locations in: Southfield, Warren, Dearborn, Ann Arbor, Flint, Michigan.