In many states within the United States, wages can be taken directly from your paycheck for nonpayment of unsecured debts if they have a judgment against you. Judgment-creditors can take up to 25% of your paycheck before you even get it.
This is not the case for Texans. In Texas, wage garnishment is not allowed for most unsecured debt, even if your creditor sues you and obtains a judgment against you.
But there are exceptions. For Texans, your wages can be garnished for things like child support, IRS debt, federal student loans and certain other federal debts. But ordinary debts like credit card debts, bank loans, medical debts, etc., cannot garnish your wages even if they sue you and get a judgment against you.
One exception comes into play after you deposit your check into your bank account. After the money is put in your account, it is not considered wages any longer and can be seized; they can take it from your checking or savings account, or other financial account.
Another situation in which your money can be garnished from your paycheck is if a you have a valid judgment against you from another state and that state allows wage garnishment, then your wages can be garnished here in Texas.
The most important point is this: don’t wait. If you are having your wages garnished or if someone is threatening to do so, call the bankruptcy attorneys at J. Thomas Black for your free evaluation at 713-772-8037 —or if you just want some more information, you can request some of our publications.