Exemptions from Wage Garnishment
Exemptions from Wage Garnishment Florida
Many people in Port St Lucie, Stewart, and Jupiter have been hard hit by the Great Recession. This economic downturn has resulted in a decrease in individual earning capacity. Consequently, many have been unable to pay credit card bills and other unsecured obligations which have resulted in judgements against them. The state of Florida affords individuals some protection against creditors’ collection efforts. Specifically, in situations where the creditor has obtained a judgment and is attempting to garnish the wages and/or bank acount(s) of a head of household.
Title XV, Chapter 222, specifically § 222.11 Fla. Stat. (2012) is as follows:
222.11 Exemption of wages from garnishment.—
(1) As used in this section, the term:
(a) “Earnings” includes compensation paid or payable, in money of a sum certain, for personal services or labor whether denominated as wages, salary, commission, or bonus.
(b) “Disposable earnings” means that part of the earnings of any head of family remaining after the deduction from those earnings of any amounts required by law to be withheld.
(c) “Head of family” includes any natural person who is providing more than one-half of the support for a child or other dependent.
(2)(a) All of the disposable earnings of a head of family whose disposable earnings are less than or equal to $750 a week are exempt from attachment or garnishment.
(b) Disposable earnings of a head of a family, which are greater than $750 a week, may not be attached or garnished unless such person has agreed otherwise in writing. The agreement to waive the protection provided by this paragraph must:
1. Be written in the same language as the contract or agreement to which the waiver relates;
2. Be contained in a separate document attached to the contract or agreement; and
3. Be in substantially the following form in at least 14-point type:
IF YOU PROVIDE MORE THAN ONE-HALF OF THE SUPPORT FOR A CHILD OR OTHER DEPENDENT, ALL OR PART OF YOUR INCOME IS EXEMPT FROM GARNISHMENT UNDER FLORIDA LAW. YOU CAN WAIVE THIS PROTECTION ONLY BY SIGNING THIS DOCUMENT. BY SIGNING BELOW, YOU AGREE TO WAIVE THE PROTECTION FROM GARNISHMENT.
(Consumer’s Signature) (Date Signed)
I have fully explained this document to the consumer.
(Creditor’s Signature) (Date Signed)
The amount attached or garnished may not exceed the amount allowed under the Consumer Credit Protection Act, 15 U.S.C. s. 1673.
(c) Disposable earnings of a person other than a head of family may not be attached or garnished in excess of the amount allowed under the Consumer Credit Protection Act, 15 U.S.C. s. 1673.
(3) Earnings that are exempt under subsection (2) and are credited or deposited in any financial institution are exempt from attachment or garnishment for 6 months after the earnings are received by the financial institution if the funds can be traced and properly identified as earnings. Commingling of earnings with other funds does not by itself defeat the ability of a head of family to trace earnings.
If you find yourself facing a debt situation which you are unable to resolve, it is important to seek legal assistance. I have clients in Stuart, Port St. Lucie, Fort Pierce, Vero Beach, and Jupiter and have offices in Stuart, Port St. Lucie and Jupiter. If you have any questions, call my office in Stuart to arrange a free consultation.