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California Wage Garnishment Procedure

Filing for Bankruptcy protection will eliminate the garnishment of your wages and stop wage garnishment. Once your payroll department is served with the earnings withholding order pursuant to California wage garnishment procedure there is a 10-day grace period. Do not wait until your wages are garnished, schedule a FREE PHONE CONSULTATION or FREE OFFICE CONSULTATION and find out if bankruptcy is right for you. 1-877-963-9543

The procedure to garnish your wages is governed by federal and state law. United States Code Title 15 sets minimum standards each state must abide by. Then each state can determine exactly how they implement wage garnishment. In California the California Civil Code, Title 9, Enforcement of Judgments, Division 2, Chapter 5 (Wage Garnishment) provides California procedures.

This first thing that must take place is a judgment is obtained against you. Once the creditor has a judgment they may enforce it. One way to enforce the judgment is by garnishing your wages. The creditor will then obtain an abstract of the judgment and obtain a writ of execution from the court. After that an earning withholdings order will be issued and served. Service of the earnings withholding order can be by personal served, delivered by registered or certified mail, postage prepaid, with return receipt requested. Service by mail is not complete until the return receipt is executed. See C.C.P. §706.101(b) The levying officer must serve your employer an original and one copy of the earnings withholding order, employer’s return and notice of employee of earnings withholding order. See C.C.P. §706.101(a)

Once your employer’s payroll department receives service of the earnings withholding order and writ of garnishment there is a 10-day grace period. See California Wage Garnishment Laws for more information. Your employer must then provide you with a copy of the earnings withholding order within 10-days of the date of service of the earnings withholding order. See C.C.P. §706.104(a) The employer must fill out the return documents and mail them to the levying officer with 15-days of the date of service of the withholding order. See C.C.P. §706.104(b) You may claim exemptions to lower the amount of the garnishment or have the earnings withholding order terminated entirely if the right circumstances exist. You may exempt the portion of your earnings is proven to be necessary for the support of your family and you. See C.C.P. §706.051 A claim of exemption is made by filing the claim of exemption with the levying officer and a financial statement showing income and expenses to show the amount of your income is necessary for your family and your support. The levying officer must then send the claim of exemption and financial statement to the creditor. If the creditor does not oppose the claim of exemption a modified earnings withholding should be filed with the levying officer. The credit must file a notice of opposition to the claim of exemption with the levying officer within 10-days after the date of mailing of the notice of claim exemption. If the claim of exemption is opposed then you are entitled to a hearing on the claim of exemption. The creditor will file a motion for a hearing date and the hearing should be held around 30-days. See C.C.P. §706.105

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