Collection By Garnishment
is a legal process that allows a creditor to take a debtor’s money
that is currently being held by a third party (employer or banking
institution) to satisfy a judgment.
An employer can be required to pay to the court a portion
(currently 25%) of those wages earned by a debtor (employee) in order to
satisfy a debt owed to a judgment creditor.
For example, if an individual is paid weekly, the employer is
required to deduct 25% of the employee’s disposable earnings (earnings
after deductions required by law). If a bank, savings and loan, credit union, or someone holding
money earned on commission, have funds being held in an account that
belongs to the debtor, any of these accounts can be garnished upon.
This money is paid to the court and then forwarded to the
judgment creditor to satisfy all or part of the debt owed.
begin the process of garnishing an individual’s wages, a “Notice of
Court Proceedings to Collect Debt” (also known as a “15 Day
Notice”) must be mailed to the debtor.
This notice must be mailed by certified mail or certificate of
mailing to the judgment debtor at his/her last known address.
The creditor must wait 15 days after mailing this notice before a
wage garnishment can be filed. A
copy of this notice along with proof of mailing must be filed with the
clerk’s office when filing a wage garnishment.
This notice is not required for non-wage garnishments (bank
filing a wage or non-wage garnishment, all appropriate forms must be
filled out completely, and all required court costs must be paid to the
clerk. In addition to the
regular court costs, a separate check for $1.00 made payable to the
banking institution must be attached to all non-wage garnishments.
Please see the schedule of court costs for the correct amount of
each respective garnishment.
a garnishee (employer or bank) receives the garnishment, they must
respond to the court within a specified time period.
That time period varies depending on the type of garnishment.
If the garnishee has no money to send to the court, the
garnishment has been unsuccessful.
The court will send a copy of the answer filed with the clerk to
the judgment creditor stating the reason why the garnishment was
unsuccessful. A new
garnishment may be filed at a later date once new or updated information
is received. The garnishment is successful if the clerk receives an answer
from the garnishee indicating that money is being withheld.
The money is paid to the court, and the clerk issues a check to
the judgment creditor. Checks
are issued on the 2nd and 4th Wednesdays of each month.
Ohio garnishment law, a wage garnishment is a continuous order.
This means that the garnishment remains in effect until the
judgment is paid in full, the garnishee receives a subsequent
garnishment order from a different creditor on the same debtor, or
receives a garnishment of higher priority.
A garnishment of higher priority can include a garnishment from a
court of higher jurisdiction, a child support order, a tax levy, etc. However, in most cases a garnishment will be valid for 182
days from the date the garnishee begins to process it. If a wage garnishment is filed by a different creditor on the
same debtor, and 182 days of the first creditor have passed, and the
first creditor has not been paid in full, the first creditor will need
to file a new wage garnishment, beginning with the notice to collect
debt, to get back in rotation for the next 182 days of collecting.
unlimited number of non-wage garnishments may be filed at one time.
Non-wage garnishments differ from wage garnishments in that they
are a one time payment. If the judgment debtor has enough funds in his/her account(s)
to pay the judgment in full, the full amount is paid to the court.
Please remember, it is the judgment creditor’s responsibility to initiate any collection proceedings, to provide the court with the information needed to proceed with the collection, and to check on the status of the garnishment.