A wage garnishment is a tool that a creditor can use after he has obtain a judgment against a individual debtor. After a judgment is issue, a creditor can ask for a writ of execution. Along with the writ of execution, they can have the sheriff serve a Application for Earning Withholding Order onto an employer of the debtor.
If the debtor works for the employer served, a lien is created on the judgment debtor’s earning that are required to be withheld under the order and on all the employer’s property subject to the enforcement of the money judgment in the amount required to be withheld under the order.
The lien endures for one year after the date the judgment debtor’s earning became payable unless the amount required to be withheld under the order is paid as required by law.
Within 10 days after the service of the earning withholding order, the employer must deliver to the debtor employee a copy of the earning withholding order and the notice to employee of earnings withholding.
Within 15 days after the date of service of the order, the employer must complete the employer’s return and mail it to the levying officer (sheriff). If the earning withholding order is defective, the employer must tell the sheriff why then are not complying with the order (for example, the employee no longer works here).
If the order is valid, the employer is required to withhold the amount set forth in the order and remit that amount to the sheriff office after each pay period.