Wage Garnishment Limits in Michigan

Michigan has no state provisions for limiting garnishment. Therefore the federal limit of 25% of net wages applies. No judgment is required for back taxes, court ordered child support and arrears, as well as for student loans in default.

A wage garnishment is the legal procedure where your employer withholds a portion of your paycheck so it can be directly given to a creditor to pay off a debt. Wage garnishments are created when a creditor sues you for nonpayment on a debt and wins the case. Ordered by the court or other government agencies, wage garnishments are continued until the full amount of debt is repaid.

Wage garnishments come from court-ordered judgments. Federal and state law provides that anyone you owe debt to, whether it be individuals, courts, or businesses, has the ability to take you to court and seek a wage garnishment order.

Each state varies in laws that govern how wage garnishments are handled. It is your responsibility to know and understand how your state regulates wage garnishment.

Michigan has three types of orders for garnishment: periodic, non-periodic, or income tax refund garnishment. A periodic writ allows the debtor’s salary and any monies collected in form of rent or land contract payments can be used to settle the dispute. This order is valid for 91 days or until debt is repaid, whichever comes first.

A non-periodic writ uses money in a bank account as a payment toward the debt. The payment can be withdrawn only once. The remainder of the debt requires another writ granted by the court.

In Michigan, a state income tax refund can be garnished in order to pay off a debt. However, federal and city income tax refunds cannot be garnished. Like non-periodic writs, state income tax refund can be garnished once, requiring additional writs to collect remainder of the money.

In Michigan, a court must issue a Writ of Garnishment which must be properly served to the debtor. A Writ of Garnishment is a post-judgment collection procedure that allows a collector to deduct a percentage of a debtor’s wage to satisfy the collector’s judgment for money damages. It is necessary that the collector has certain information about the debtor, the person who is in debt, such as Social Security number, address, and place of employment.

The garnishee, or employer, must serve the Write of Garnishment within 91 days since it has been issued. Within 7 days, the garnishee must serve the debtor. The garnishee is also responsible for filling out a verified disclosure and to file it with the courts within 14 days. It is necessary that file is mailed to both the debtor and collector. It is crucial the garnishee acts in time prior to deadline.

Writs of Garnishments vary depending on state. It is important to be aware of these laws because they explain why portion of your wages are going to.

Pranjali Shah

Pranjali Shah is a senior at North Carolina State University, with a major in Psychology and a minor in French. She plans on attending graduate school in order to pursue a career in Occupational Therapy.

Pranjali works for the University Archives at North Carolina State University. She volunteers at Occupational Therapist offices in Charlotte and Raleigh. Pranjali is in the University Scholar’s Program and a member of Psi Chi Honor Fraternity. She is a co-captain of an Indian folk-dance team at NC State.

While she is not busy applying for graduate school, she enjoys working out, traveling, and listening to music. Her interests include fashion, all things French, and spending time with friends and family.

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