Wage garnishment is a last resort approach that debt collectors utilize to gather the debt owed to them. The process begins when a court order, or judgment, is approved to be held against the debtor, at which point a percentage of his or her wages are sent directly to the entity to which the money is owed, or garnished. This occurs in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Chapter 77 of the Florida Statutes describes how the law works in the Sunshine State.
Each state has its own set of particular laws that provide added protections for debtors. Many states simply abide by the federal model of wage garnishment. Florida is a state that abides by the federal model, but offers one particular exemption for debtors with families. It is called the Head of Household exemption and certain requirements must be met in order to be eligible to claim this exemption.
HEAD OF HOUSEHOLD
The head of household exemption in Florida seeks to protect the wages of debtors who provide most of the financial support for their families. This type of exemption is not exclusive to Florida; states like Arkansas and Vermont also have statutes protecting the breadwinner of a family, however Florida’s laws offer the most protection, as up to 100% of earnings (wages, salary, commission, or bonuses apply) can be exempt if the debtor meets specific requirements.
A head of household is someone who provides more than 50% of the financial support for another person to whom he has a legal or moral responsibility to support. This can be a spouse or child and the dependent does not have to live with the debtor in order for the head of household exemption to apply.
If a person meets the requirements for this exemption, he or she must file an affidavit with the Court, as it is not an automatic exemption. The debtor must do this as soon as possible upon finding out that the creditor intends to request wage garnishment. One who properly claims the exemption cannot have his wages taken if he is the head of the family and receives $750 per week or less. Heads of households who make more than $750 a week can have their wages garnished by judgment creditors only when the garnishment is agreed to in writing.
To learn more about Florida wage garnishment, you should speak to a knowledgeable Miami debt collection lawyer today. If you have been notified of a creditor’s intention to sue you to collect your wages, Attorney Jibrael S. Hindi and his team are eager to help put a stop to any potential bank levy or wage garnishment. There are many avenues a savvy lawyer can take to protect your income. In fact, in many occasions we can sue the debt collector or creditor that has sued or threatened to sue you and make them pay you for the abuse you have suffered! When your wages are being threatened, you need The Law Offices of Jibrael S. Hindi on your side. Call 1-844-JIBRAEL or contact us online for a free legal consultation.