Being in debt to creditors can be scary, especially when it feels like they can take whatever they want. It should relieve you to know they can’t do that. While it’s true that creditors can take from your paycheck, they can’t do this under all circumstances. If you’re worried about creditors plucking from your paycheck, let’s review what wage garnishment is and whether it’s legal in Texas.
What Is Wage Garnishment?
Note that wage garnishment is legal and requires a court order. Essentially, a percentage of an employee’s compensation is taken in order to satisfy a debt or legal action. Typically, a creditor will sue and get a judgment against you. Once they get that judgment, they can get the required court order. Wage garnishment can include but is not limited to the following:
- Student loans
- Outstanding court fees
- Medical bills
- Unpaid taxes
- Child support
Is Wage Garnishment Legal in Texas?
Wage garnishment is legal in Texas under particular circumstances. Creditors cannot garnish your wage except for child support payments or spousal maintenance under court order. However, if you work for a company outside of Texas or your wages come from a source outside of Texas, then you are not protected under Texas law. In these cases, you’ll likely get a wage garnishment order from out of state.
Other Instances of Wage Garnishment
Aside from child support or spousal maintenance, your wages can be garnished for a few other reasons. A creditor can get a wage garnishment order if you owe money to the federal government, particularly in student loans or unpaid taxes. If you default on a federal student loan, up to 15 percent of your wage can be garnished. This is known as an administrative garnishment. In terms of unpaid taxes, the amount of wage garnishment varies based on factors such as your dependents and tax exemptions.
Wage garnishment is the court-ordered reduction of wages to pay off debts, and it is legal in Texas. Note that your employer is responsible for withholding a percentage of your wage and sending it to the creditor.
Some employers take this as an opportunity to pocket more from your paycheck under your nose. This is illegal and likely breaches your contract. Contact Northern Legal if you believe you’ve been a victim of this violation. We’ll put you in contact with one of our breach of contract lawyers so you can get the representation and compensation you deserve.