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What Can I Do About Wage Garnishment In Nevada?

by Chad Johnson, Bankruptcy Attorney & President on 1/26/2015

Finding out money is going to be taken out of your paycheck to pay a past-due debt is extremely stressful, especially when you are already just scraping by.

We understand your situation and we can help. Come in and see one of our attorneys for a free consultation, and let us take on the stress of getting you out of a wage garnishment situation. It is always better if you come see us before money is being taken out of your paycheck. If the wage garnishment has already started, don’t worry. We can stop it.

Most Wage Garnishments Begin With A Lawsuit

two hands fighting over a $50 bill meant to represent wage garnishmentWage garnishments are most often brought about by creditors you defaulted on who have obtained a judgment. These creditors include medical bills, credit cards, payday loans, and more. However, these creditors cannot touch your income until they get a judgment. When you see that one of these creditors has filed a lawsuit against you, come in and see us right away. We can stop the lawsuit before it becomes a judgment and before they start garnishing your wages.

While most creditors file a lawsuit and must receive a judgment before garnishing your wages, below are situations where a judgment is not required before wage garnishment begins:

  • unpaid income taxes
  • court ordered child support
  • child support arrears
  • defaulted student loans

How Much Can Be Taken From Your Paycheck?

According to NRS 31.295, if your income is high enough to be garnished, creditors with judgments can generally take only 25% of your net wages after required deductions. However, for a few types of debts, creditors can take more. Thankfully, there are limits to how much money can be garnished from your paycheck. The idea is that you should have enough left to pay for living expenses. Federal law places limits on wage garnishment amounts, and Nevada imposes even stricter limits.

This means that in Nevada, the most that can be garnished from your wages for any given workweek is the lesser of:

  • 25% of your disposable earnings, or
  • the amount by which your weekly disposable earnings exceed 50 times the Federal hourly minimum wage (federal law only exempts weekly disposable earnings up to 30 times the minimum wage)

Disposable earnings are those wages left after your employer has made deductions required by law. For example, let’s say you earn $1,200 per week, and your net wages (disposable earnings) are $1,000 after all required deductions. Since multiplying the current Federal hourly minimum wage ($7.25) by 50 gives us $362.50, your wages can be garnished up to the lesser of $1,000 times 25% ($250) or $1,000 minus $362.50 ($637.50) per week. As a result, your wages may be garnished up to $250 per week.

How Do Child Support & Student Loans Affect Wage Garnishment?

As noted above, if you're behind on child support, student loans, or taxes, the government or creditor can garnish your wages without getting a court judgment. The amount that can be garnished from your wages is different too.

  • Child Support - If you fall behind on your child support, the court can order a wage garnishment. In Nevada, up to 50% of your disposable earnings may be garnished to satisfy an order for the support of any person (such as spousal or child support), if you are currently supporting a spouse or a child who isn't the subject of the order. If you aren't supporting a spouse or child, up to 60% of your earnings may be taken. An additional 5% may be garnished for support payments over 12 weeks in arrears.
  • Student Loans - If you are in default on a federal student loan, the U.S. Department of Education or any entity collecting for this agency can garnish your wages without first getting a court judgment – this is called an administrative garnishment. The most that can be garnished is 15% of your disposable income, but not more than 30 times the minimum wage.

What If You Have Multiple Wage Garnishments?

If you have more than one wage garnishment, the total amount that can be garnished is limited to 25%. For example, if the federal government is garnishing 15% of your income to repay defaulted student loans and your employer receives a second wage garnishment order, the employer can only take another 10% of your income to send to the second creditor.

Will Wage Garnishments Affect Your Employment?

According to federal law, your employer cannot discharge you if you have one wage garnishment. However, federal law won’t protect you if you have more than one wage garnishment order. In Nevada, however, an employer can’t fire or discipline you solely because of a wage garnishment order (NRS 31.298) or if you file for bankruptcy.

Want To Stop Wage Garnishment?

See NRS 31.240 – 31.460 for more information, or contact us today and let us help you deal with this debt and wage garnishment stress!