If a creditor has sued you for nonpayment on a debt and won the case, a wage garnishment can be created against you. Wage garnishments are the legal procedure where a portion of your paycheck is withheld by an employer and then given directly to the creditor. Wage garnishments are continued until the full amount of debt is paid off. These garnishments are orders by the court or other government agencies.
There are common forms of debt that results to wage garnishments. Examples include unpaid court fines, taxes, defaulted student loans, and child support. However, wage garnishments can be ordered for any type of debt.
When you have a wage garnishment against you, it is not the best experience. It is extremely important to understand the rules that apply in your state. Each state has specific laws that that govern how garnished wages are handled.
In Mississippi, when a third-party obtains a mean of garnishing your wages, it is necessary for them to notify you and your employer in writing. After receiving the notice, you will be given a 30 day grace period, where your wages remain untouched. Subsequent to the grace period, up to 25% of your earnings will be used as your garnishments. The remaining of your earnings will be paid to you, allowing you to make necessary living expenses.
Employers in Mississippi have two methods to process your money that is being withheld. Employers have the decision to pay either in part or in full. If employers chose to pay in part, they will pay the money being withheld from the employer’s check to the court, each week. If the employer decides to pay in full, they are allowed to hold the withheld money in their bank account until the full amount of payment is reached. This method in the state of Mississippi requires the employer to make a payment at least once a year, if this wage garnishment entails multiple years to complete.
In the event of multiple wage garnishments under the same employer, you will be allowed to pay one off individually. After making a full payment on one garnishment, only then can you begin paying off the other one.
Under Mississippi law, child support is not considered a garnishment. This is important to be aware of, for child support withholdings receive priority status and are not included in the 25% maximum that goes into garnished wages.
Wage garnishments can be stressful for employers, but in Mississippi, you are protected under state law. Employers are not allowed to fire, discipline, or refuse to hire you when you are ordered a wage garnishment. However, in the event of multiple wage garnishments, the federal law cannot protect you. It is important to know your state laws on wage garnishments, in order to protect yourself from further issues.
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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