New York City Debt Collection Defense Attorney
Cutting-Edge Legal Representation Manageable Fee Structures

New York Wage Garnishment Attorney

Garnished wages? We can help.

Even at the wage-garnishment stage, a skilled attorney can help. The first defensive measure is to stop the enforcement of wage garnishment. To do that, we file papers "stay" (enjoin) the wage garnishment. A "stay" temporarily puts the garnishment on hold until we resolve the case. We will help you remove the legal "garnishment" deductions from your paycheck.

You may read this blog post to get a summary of the law.

In some cases, The Langel Firm has recovered all monies garnished due to demonstrably bad service. Contact us immediately if the creditor did not notify you of a wage garnishment.

Wage Garnishment Lawyer Serving New York

The Langel Firm stops garnishments in New York City and most of New York State. We use every weakness we find to your advantage. The right to due process is inherent in lawful wage garnishments, and specific notices and claim forms must be served on you before a lawful wage garnishment may commence.

Without due process, we'd hate to see you relinquish your hard-earned wages due to a legally assailable judgment. As you can imagine, a little investigation uncovers a lot. We are happy to use our skills and resources to help you obtain quick legal relief against that wage garnishment.

In New York, How Does a Creditor Obtain a Wage Garnishment?

In New York, like in many other states, a creditor can obtain a wage garnishment (also known as an income execution order) through the following steps:

  1. Obtain a Judgment: The creditor must first sue the debtor in court and win the lawsuit. If the court rules in favor of the creditor, a judgment is issued that states the amount owed by the debtor.

  2. Apply for a Wage Garnishment Order: Once the judgment is in place, the creditor can apply for a wage garnishment order. In New York, wage garnishment orders are typically handled through the local sheriff or marshal's office. The creditor must provide the office with information about the debtor, including their place of employment and the amount of the judgment.

  3. Serve the Wage Garnishment Order: The sheriff or marshal will then serve the wage garnishment order on the debtor's employer. The employer is legally obligated to comply with the order and start withholding a portion of the debtor's wages to be sent directly to the creditor.

In New York, wage garnishments are subject to certain restrictions. For example, only a certain percentage of a debtor's income can be garnished, and certain types of income, like Social Security benefits or unemployment compensation, are generally exempt from garnishment.

If a debtor believes that the wage garnishment is causing undue hardship, they can contest the garnishment order in court. It is recommended to seek legal advice in such situations as the procedures can be complex.

Intake Form-The Langel Firm

How Much of My Salary Can Be Garnished for Private Debts in New York?

The portion of your wages that can be garnished to settle private debts — such as credit cards, medical bills, bank loans, and private student loans — depends on your overall income. Please note that private debts exclude child support, taxes, and government-backed student loans.

  • For those with a disposable income of $450.00* or less per week: Your income is safeguarded from debt collection in its entirety. In other words, garnishment of your wages is not permissible.
  • For those with a disposable income exceeding $450.00* per week: The creditor is allowed to garnish the lesser of either 10% of your gross income or 25% of your disposable income for the week. Regardless, the creditor cannot decrease your weekly disposable income to less than $450.00.
  • *This figure is derived from the $15/hour NYS minimum wage for “NYC – Large Employers (of 11 or more)” effective from 12/31/18, as stipulated on the NYS Department of Labor’s website. However, this figure may vary based on the specific NYS minimum wage that applies to your location and your employer.

In cases where wage garnishment for child support or spousal support is already in place: Even with this existing garnishment, your wages can still be garnished to repay a private debt. However, the total garnishments combined cannot exceed 25% of your disposable income.

What is “Poundage” Under New York Collection Law?

"Poundage" in the context of New York Collection Law refers to the fee or commission that sheriffs are allowed to charge for their services in executing a writ or judgment. In New York, sheriffs who execute judgments by collecting or selling the debtor's property are entitled to receive poundage, which is calculated as a percentage of the amount collected or the value of the property.

Do Different Laws Apply to Poundage by State Sheriffs Versus NYC City Marshals?

Yes. New York poundage laws differ based on the entity executing the judgment: sheriffs or New York City marshals. Here's a comparison highlighting the differences in laws governing poundage at the state level versus the NYC level:

State Level (Sheriffs):

  1. Governing Law: Poundage for sheriffs is governed by CPLR § 8011.
  2. Scope: This law applies to sheriffs across the entire state of New York, not just New York City.
  3. Rate Determination: The CPLR sets specific rates or percentages for poundage based on the amount collected.
  4. Additional Fees: Apart from poundage, CPLR Section 8011 also outlines other fees that sheriffs can charge for various services related to the execution of judgments.

NYC Level (City Marshals):

  1. Governing Law: The fees and poundage for New York City marshals are set by the New York City Administrative Code, specifically within Title 20, Chapter 2, which pertains to Consumer Affairs.
  2. Scope: This code is specific to city marshals operating within New York City.
  3. Rate Determination: The NYC Administrative Code provides a detailed schedule of fees and poundage rates that city marshals can charge for their services.
  4. Additional Fees: Just like the CPLR for sheriffs, the NYC Administrative Code also describes various other fees that city marshals can charge for different services related to executing judgments.

While both laws outline how fees and poundage should be charged during the execution of judgments, they apply to different entities and have separate rate schedules and specifics. For the most accurate and up-to-date information, one should refer directly to the CPLR and NYC Administrative Code or consult with a legal professional familiar with these regulations.

What is the New York City Marshal's Poundage Rate?

A marshal can charge 5% poundage on the total sum collected, including fees and expenses. Poundage applies to the lesser of the judgment or settlement amount when settled post-levy. If an execution is vacated post-levy, poundage is based on the levied property's value, up to the execution amount. To claim poundage, marshals must act towards judgment collection, as detailed in CPLR § 8012. Typically, the judgment debtor pays the poundage, unless an agreement or court specifies otherwise.

Intake Form-The Langel Firm

Understanding New York's Top 5 Wage Garnishment Laws

  1. According to New York's law (N.Y. C.P.L.R. 5231 (b)), if you owe money, up to 10% of your income can be taken to pay the debt.
  2. The judgment creditor cannot take money from your weekly paycheck unless what's left after taxes and other deductions is more than 30 times the federal or state minimum wage (N.Y. C.P.L.R. 5231 (b)(i)).
  3. The amount taken each week can't be more than 25% of what's left after taxes, or the amount over 30 times the minimum wage - whichever is lower (N.Y. C.P.L.R. 5231 (b)(ii)).
  4. If you're also paying alimony or child support, the money taken won't be more than 25% of your after-tax income minus those payments (N.Y. C.P.L.R. 5231 (b)(iii)).
  5. In this context, "earnings" means the money you get for work you do, and "disposable earnings" means what's left after all legal deductions (N.Y. C.P.L.R. 5231(c)).

Contact a New York wage garnishment lawyer if you are facing a wage garnishment.