Ask Bill your personal finance question

Maryland Garnishment Rules

What are the Maryland garnishment rules? Can the Comptroller of Maryland garnish my unemployment checks?

I have been paying back taxes for 4 years, but recently lost my job after 14 years. I receive Maryland unemployment benefits. Can the Comptroller of Maryland garnish my unemployment checks? I am leaving hand-to-mouth as is.

Read full question
Bill's Answer
(6 Votes) | Find Learn Save

  • Wage garnishment is legal in Maryland.
  • Unemployment benefits may not be garnished except for narrow circumstances.
  • Maryland follows the federal wage garnishment limits.

Wage garnishment is permitted under Maryland law. The District Court of Maryland offers an excellent document summarizing Maryland Wage Garnishment (PDF) rules.

Maryland follows the federal rules that limit the amount garnished to 25 percent of the debtor’s disposable income, or not less than an amount equal to 30 times the federal minimum hourly wage.

Unemployment benefits are not wages, and may not be garnished except for very narrow circumstances. These circumstances include child or spousal support, and generally not delinquent state taxes. However, that is the general rule, and Maryland may be an exception.

Call the Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation Division of Unemployment Insurance and ask the customer service representative about the state tax authority’s ability to garnish unemployment benefits. Call again later and ask the same question to a different customer service representative. If the two answers match, then you have an fair answer to your question.

Unsure how to handle your debt? Let the Debt Coach tool give you a customized report on your debt resolution options. It’s free!

More Information

See the article Maryland Collection Laws to learn more about other remedies collection agents and original creditors can use to collect debts from Maryland residents. The Wage Garnishment article explains the federal wage garnishment rules.

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



Get Debt Help!
(6 Votes)

People also like to Read

Brad Stroh

Debt Relief Options | Compare which debt relief option is best between Consumer Credit Counseling Services and Debt Settlemen... Read more >>

Brad Stroh

9 do-it-yourself debt solutions, including how to stop a collector's calls, validate debt, dispute an error in your credit re... Read more >>

Mark Cappel

Get Out of Debt Free | The lowest-cost method of getting out of debt for free is bankruptcy. You have other options, too, and... Read more >>

Daniel Cohen

Review your debt consolidation options. Find the right way to pay off your debt. Pay attention to debt consolidation reviews ... Read more >>

Mark Cappel

Learn about credit cards. Find low interest credit cards. Understand how to use credit cards to boost your credit. Make sure ... Read more >>


1500 characters remaining