Having a creditor garnish your wages or bank account means they will take money directly out of your paycheck or bank account to pay off a debt. Garnishments occur almost exclusively as a result of court orders following a judgment. Garnishment may occur without a court order if a debt is owed to the federal government, such as the Internal Revenue Service.

The third party, often known as the garnishee, is typically the debtor’s place of employment. Employment termination for the purpose of avoiding the processing of a garnishment payment is illegal under federal law. Unpaid taxes, monetary fines, child support, and defaulted student loans are all examples of debts that may result in garnishment.

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