Garnishment: Your Legal Rights and Obligations

Garnishment: Your Legal Rights and Obligations

Learn what you can do to protect certain property from garnishment and how to meet your related legal obligations to creditors.


Garnishment in Iowa

Garnishment is when your money is taken from someone other than you to pay a court judgment.  For example, your creditor might take your money directly from your bank or directly from your employer.  

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By: Iowa Legal Aid

 


Protecting Against Garnishment

Having your paycheck or bank account garnished can make a bad situation much worse. It can mean not being able to pay rent or make your mortgage payment. It can mean not having money to pay for utilities, fix your car, buy gas, make insurance payments, or buy needed medicine and food. Garnishment can also cause stress at work with your employer and undermine your relationship with your bank. 

Garnishment takes away control of how you manage your money. The forced payments can upset your plans to get back on track to financial security. 

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By: Iowa Legal Aid


Garnishment Rules for Creditors

Are creditors threatening to take your money or property? A new law makes it more difficult for a "creditor" (a person or company to whom money is owed) to take money or property from a "debtor" (person owing the debt).

What steps must a creditor take to get someone's money or property?
  • The first step is file a lawsuit for a specific amount of money or item of property, as long as the property has not been mortgaged or put up as collateral for a specific debt.
  • The creditor must get a judgment against the debtor in court. After getting a judgment, the creditor may try to collect by garnishing the debtor's wages or bank account.

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By: Iowa Legal Aid


Laws Protect Federal Benefits from Garnishment

It can be difficult to manage day-to-day finances without a bank account. However, sometimes people are afraid to put money in the bank. They are afraid a creditor may try to take the money. There are some important protections in the law for people who owe money, including a change made in 2011. This article will explain the new law, and how to make sure its protections are in place.

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By: Iowa Legal Aid