Understanding wage garnishment in Michigan
The past year has been financially difficult for many people in Michigan. For anyone who is subject to a wage garnishment, it is helpful to understand what that means and how an attorney may be able to help.
Garnishment is a process that allows a creditor to collect money from a garnishee. This may include funds from paychecks, bank accounts or state tax refunds.
However, garnishment isn’t an automatic process. Before the garnishment can take place, the creditor must go to court and the court must grant a judgment.
After the judgment is granted by the court, the creditor must wait 21 days before the court provides a writ of garnishment, which is the court order that requires the garnishee to pay. Then the creditor has 7 days to provide a copy to the garnishee.
Types of garnishment
The two types of garnishment available in Michigan are periodic and non-periodic.
Periodic garnishment allows the creditor to collect money from the garnishee’s regular source of income, including income from a pension or retirement plan. These types of garnishments stay in place until the judgment, interest and costs are all paid.
A non-periodic garnishment is a one-time transaction, usually removed from the garnishee’s bank account or tax refund.
If the garnishee cannot pay the garnishment in full, there may be an option to negotiate a payment plan with the creditor, ask the court for an installment plan or he or she may want to consider filing for bankruptcy.
An experienced attorney can provide advice about which options to pursue and explain the garnishee’s rights under the law.