Can a Debt Collector Garnish Your Wages?

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Can a Debt Collector Garnish Your Wages?

Debt is an unfortunate problem that many people have to deal with. Sometimes you can't avoid taking on debt, like when you buy a house or a car. Other people end up with credit card debt when they put too much on their credit card and can't pay it off. The question is, can a debt collector ? This guide will explore that question and more.

If you are contacted by someone trying to collect your debt, there is a chance you can negotiate with them. If a debt collector reaches out to you, make sure you familiarize yourself with your state's debt collection laws so you don't end up overpaying or paying for something you don't need to pay. You also want to ensure you don't end up getting taken to court. Finally, you also have the option to file a dispute letter if you believe you don't actually owe the debt.

If you want some assistance going through the debt collection process, DoNotPay is here to help.

Can Debt Collectors Garnish Your Wages?

Garnishing your wages means that a debt collector takes money from your paycheck before it is even given to you. Almost any debt collection company can do this, but they must perform certain steps.

The following cases require the debt collector to file a lawsuit, obtain a judgment, and get a court order before they can garnish your wages.

  • Credit card debt
  • Medical debt
  • Most other types of debt

The following situations do not require a collection agency to go through the court process to start garnishing your wages.

  • Child support and alimony
  • Unpaid income taxes
  • Student loans

If your wages are garnished, the collections company can take twenty-five percent of your disposable earnings or how much your weekly disposable income exceeds thirty times the federal minimum wage. The agency will go with the lower amount. Keep in mind, however, that individual states can enforce stricter percentages.

If a debt collection company does start , you have a couple of options to stop them.

  • File a claim of exemption with the court
  • Eliminate your debt through bankruptcy

How to Deal With a Debt Collector On Your Own

If you want to try to deal with the debt collector on your own, follow these steps.

Know Your Rights

All debt collectors have to follow certain laws, so it's important you are aware of them.

  1. They can only call during certain hours and not while you are at work.
  2. They can't lie or harass you.
  3. They have to provide specific information about your debt.

Tips for Handling Debt Collectors

Don't ignore their attempts at contactThis won’t make the problem go away
Gather information about the debtTry to figure out what the creditor is after from you in the first place
Make sure any information is in writingGet everything you can from the creditor in writing so you have proof of what was said
Don't give out information on the phoneNever give a creditor more information than they deserve. Information that is given out should be given in writing only.
See if you can negotiateTry to reduce the total amount of debt that you owe by negotiating a better deal.

Solve the Debt Issues With the Help of DoNotPay

It can be difficult to navigate the complicated process of debt collection. DoNotPay is happy to step in and help you out.

Here's how it works:

  1. Search "debt collection" on DoNotPay.

  2. Answer a series of questions about the debt collectors, including when you were contacted and how you were contacted, so we can determine if they have violated any debt collection laws.

  3. Decide which course of action you want to take based on our guidance, such as filing a debt verification request, demanding for the collectors to stop contacting you, or reporting them to the CFPB.

And that's it! Once you choose the course of action you want to take, DoNotPay will handle the rest. We'll deliver your request directly to the debt collectors via first-class mail, or file your complaint automatically with the CFPB so that they're no longer able to use unfair debt collection practices.

Why Use DoNotPay to Resolve Your Debt Issues

Rather than trying to navigate the debt collection process, you should let DoNotPay handle it for you for several reasons.

  • It's quick: You only spend a few minutes telling us about your debt.
  • It's a success: You can have faith that DoNotPay will help you resolve your debt issues.
  • It's simple: All we need from you is information about your debt, and we do everything else.

DoNotPay Can Complete Many Tasks

We are happy to help you with your garnishing wages issue, but there is much more we can do as well. We are happy to assist with a wide variety of tasks, including things like:


Debt is an unfortunate reality for some people, and in some cases, debt collection companies can garnish your wages to help pay off the debt. There are a couple of ways to stop companies from garnishing your wages, but it can be challenging. For example, you can try to file for an exemption, or you can declare bankruptcy. Neither option is great, so reaching out to DoNotPay can help.

Contact DoNotPay to see how we can help you deal with a debt collection company garnishing your wages and discover everything else we offer.

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