Indiana Garnishment Rules

What are Indiana's wage garnishment rules?

I work for an Indiana hospital and am in charge of wage garnishments. My question is can an employee have more than one wage garnishment as long as it does not go past 25% of their disposable earnings?

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  • Garnishment of SSI or pensions is not allowed under federal law.
  • Creditors are allowed to garnish 25% of your wages in Indiana.

Wage garnishment in Indiana is allowed under , and , and federal law .

A judgment-creditor may seek wage garnishment if it is aware of the debtor’s place of employment. Under Indiana and federal law, wage garnishment applies to 25% of the debtor’s net take home pay, (i.e., gross pay less statutorily mandated deductions). Indiana allows wage garnishment of up to 60% for child support, but limits that amount if the debtor is a head of household supporting others.

or pensions for consumer debt is not allowed under federal law.

The following remedies, found in Indiana , are allowed when a court awards a judgment to a creditor who filed a successful lawsuit against a consumer:

  • Attachment: IC 34-25-1 and IC 34-25-2
  • Wage Garnishment: IC 34-25-1 and IC 34-25-3
  • Lis pendens notice: IC 34-30-11

To learn more, see the Bills.com , which discusses the alternatives Indiana judgment-creditors have to wage garnishment.

Judgment Creditors Must Stand in Line to Obtain Wage Garnishment

Consult with your employer’s legal counsel regarding the application of Indiana and federal employment law. In general, creditors must stand in line when a wage garnishment hits the 25% ceiling. However, if the wage garnishment is administrative and relates to federal student loans, a child support order, or alimony, then the 25% limit does not apply. Again, each state’s laws vary, and an attorney with experience in Indiana’s labor law will give you precise advice.

I hope this information helps you Find. Learn & Save.

Best,

Bill

28 Comments

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  • 35x35
    Feb, 2013
    Wayne
    Can the state take more than 25% if all you have is social security income?
    0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Feb, 2013
      Bill
      It is not possible to answer your question without knowing more about the debt. Is it tax related? A child/family/spousal support garnishment? State-backed student loan? A state court-issued judgment?

      Social Security benefits are protected from some forms of garnishment, but open to others. See the Bills.com article Social Security Garnishment to learn the federal laws in place that protect Social Security benefit recipients.
      0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Oct, 2012
    Christine
    I'm an independent contractor, not an employee. Can my wages still be garnished?
    0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Oct, 2012
      Bill
      The answer to your question depends on your circumstances. See the 2007 Indiana Appeals Court decision Indiana Surgical Specialists v. Helen Griffin and MDS Courier Service, Inc. (PDF) for a discussion of this issue. Consult with an Indiana lawyer who has employment law experience to learn if your facts match those argued in the case cited, or if there are other Indiana cases that apply to you.
      0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Oct, 2012
    daniel
    How much can be garnished to pay a student loan?
    0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Oct, 2012
      Bill
      The answer to you question depends on your disposable income and whether your student loans are federal or private. See the Bills.com article Student Loan Wage Garnishment for an explanation. Take a moment to read some of the comments on that page, which go into depth about common student loan wage garnishment issues.
      0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Aug, 2012
    Michelle
    Can you be garnished in Indiana by more than one creditors at a time.
    0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Aug, 2012
      Bill
      I am not a lawyer, so I can't give you legal advice, but I will share a few thoughts with you.

      Regarding standard judgment-creditors, It is my understanding that two creditors can garnish your wages at the same time, as long as the total garnished is not greater than 25% of your gross pay less your statutorily mandated deductions.

      For other debts, such as IRS tax debts or child support, you can have more of your income garnished.
      0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Mar, 2012
    Noah
    I'm paid every two weeks, and my hours are different from week to week. I may work 40hours one week but only 22hours the next. I would have 62 hours on my pay check,for two weeks of work but they have to Garnish it weekly, correct?
    0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Mar, 2012
      Bill
      Consult with an Indiana lawyer who has employment law experience for a precise answer to your question. I read Indiana's law to mean that the amount garnished must be calculated based on the person's weekly wages. When the person is paid — weekly, every two weeks, or twice a month — is irrelevant. Therefore, the garnishment amount would vary as your hours worked vary.

      I hasten to add that I am not an Indiana employment lawyer, and my interpretation of Indiana's statute may be completely contrary to Indiana case law. Again, consult with an Indiana lawyer for a better guess.
      0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Mar, 2012
    Tim
    I have child support coming out of my check here in Indiana, I have someone threatening to garnish my wages. can they garnish for both child support and a bill?
    0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Mar, 2012
      Bill
      It is possible to have more than one garnishment. The general rule of 25% limit on your income is not always applicable when dealing with child support garnishments. To receive a precise answer, I recommend that you consult with an attorney who has experience in your state's labor law.
      0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Feb, 2012
    Robert
    I just got my bank account frozen! The majority of the deposits are from unemployment benefits which are protected from garnishment. Is this legal? Can I sue the fellow who filed for it for what he's cost me?
    0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Feb, 2012
      Bill
      When a bank account's funds are frozen, they are held by the bank for a short period of time before the bank remits then to the judgment creditor. I advise you to contact your bank ASAP. If you can prove to them that the funds in the account are strictly from your unemployment compensation, then I believe they will not remit them to the creditor.

      You can speak with a lawyer to see if the creditor violated any laws by levying your account. It is my opinion (and only an opinion, as I cannot give you legal advice) that the creditor did not break the law, but only an attorney can give you an authoritative answer.
      0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Mar, 2012
      Robert
      Thanks, it is pretty tricky question. All states are required to conform to federal law, and Indiana's law is virtually verbatim with the federal law. The interpretation of the phrase "until such benefits are actually received" in both Indiana and federal statutes is what is causing the problem. My contention is this phrase means what garnishments are allowed can't be paid until said benefits are approved, the magistrate is interpreting to mean once you receive them, they can take them. I've decided to leave it up to the Dept of Labor. I think the attorneys want to make a test case of it, and I don't have the resources to fight them through the different levels of the judicial system.
      0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Jan, 2012
    bob
    In Indiana, garnishment can only be enforceable on a weekly income over $217.50 , that is 30 hrs X $7.25 (the current federal minimum wage). Weekly take home pay of $217.50 or less is exempt and cannot be garnished by Indiana law.
    0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Jan, 2012
      Bill
      You illustrated IC 24-4.5-5-105 accurately. Thank you!
      0 Votes

    • 35x35
      May, 2012
      Carol
      Thanks for this info. My son, who is working aprox 20 hrs a week @ min. wage ( he is thankful to be working at least this much) and has a garnishment of $60 a week taken out. To say the least he has no money left in a paycheck. In one of my college classes I read that 25% was the max. in Indiana and I couldn't understand how they could be taking so much EVERY week. We will definately look into this further. Thanks again for your breakdown. CJ, Northern Indiana
      0 Votes

    • 35x35
      May, 2012
      Bill
      It does not sound like he makes enough to be garnished. He should be able to contact his HR department and get the garnishment stopped. The negative impact of not paying on the debt, however, is that it will grow with interest.

      If he is going to continue earning at a level that is protected from garnishment, that may give him some leverage to negotiate a reduced, lump-sum settlement, even post-judgment.
      0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Nov, 2011
    ELLIOTT
    I am currently getting garnished for a judgement on an apartment that I used to live in with someone else. I was wondering if a judgement on an apartment can or is allowed to tack on interest to the principal balance owed?
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Nov, 2011
    tiffanie
    We've fallen on hard times like most but my husband has gotten a better job and we are making payments. I have 2 questions. 1 A bill that's gone to collection threatens wage garnishment even though they are cashing our payments to them monthly, can they garnish? 2 Will we have the opportunity to go to court to explain they are being paid or is a judgement just done on our wages?
    0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Nov, 2011
      Bill
      Yes, even though you are currently making payments, you may have arrears due to incomplete or partial payments. In that case the creditor can seek to pursue collections that can lead to garnishment of your wages.

      If you feel that you a garnishment or other action will be taken against you, then speak to the creditor and negotiate a payment plan to pay off the debt.

      If it is not an administrative wage garnishment, then you will have an opportunity to make your case in court.
      0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Nov, 2011
    Ashley
    My fiance lives in Indiana but works in Michigan. He recently got papers sent to his place of employment for garnishment for a vehicle he had repossessed. Since his wages will still be garnished at tax time for 2012 is the creditor allowed to take his federal/state tax return?
    0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Nov, 2011
      Bill
      A garnishment on tax returns can be made by the government and also in cases of delinquent federal student loans or child support. This is called administrative garnishment. A judgment-creditor may not garnish tax returns, but could levy the bank account, and any deposited funds (including a tax return) could be frozen.
      1 Votes

  • 35x35
    Nov, 2011
    Joyce
    I have an employee in Michigan who had a garnishment from Indiana when he was employed with us in 2007-2009. He has rehired and Indiana sent me the original paperwork to withhold. Is there an expiration on Indiana garnishments? Should I withhold or do they need to re-file? Thanks.
    0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Nov, 2011
      Bill
      I can't give legal advice, as only an attorney can do so, but here is my non-legal opinion.

      Your obligation to garnish never ceased, but was no longer relevant when he stopped working for you. I believe that you are obligated to withhold money and that Indiana does not need to refile.

      It is not clear what kind of debt is owed. There may be a time when the debt legally expires, depending on the type of debt and how old it is. I suggest you contact the authority listed on the paperwork or speak with an attorney.
      0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Oct, 2011
    Jennifer
    My husband is currently being garnished. And the same company is trying to garnish my wages for the EXACT same thing can they do that?
    0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Oct, 2011
      Bill
      It can be the case that a creditor can garnish both spouses for the same debt at the same time. It may require the court's approval, in some jurisdictions.

      I don't see anything in the Indiana Code that precludes both of you being garnished. I recommend that you speak with an attorney in Indiana, in order to get an authoritative answer from someone who is legally allowed to dispense legal advice, which I am not.
      0 Votes