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Garnishment refers to a court order redirecting funds from a person to his or her creditors, typically being deducted from a person’s salary or other entitlement. In most cases, federal law limits the amount that can be garnished to the lesser of 25% of disposable income (which means gross income minus certain necessary expenses) and 30 times the applicable minimum wage. These limitations sometimes vary, depending on the subject matter of the claim.

Any type of judgment creditor can seek to garnish wages, though garnishment is common in domestic relations cases, where wages are often garnished to cover alimony or child support. Moreover, government agencies commonly garnish wages to cover back taxes or student loan debt.

Wage garnishment orders are typically delivered straight to the employer, though the employer is required to provide the garnishment information to the employee.