COVID-19 and Garnishing Wages

December 15, 2020

Can my Wages be Garnished in Indiana During COVID-19?

We have had a lot of questions about Covid-19 and garnishing wages. Wages can still be garnished in Indiana during the COVID-19 pandemic.   This is because there has been no major law change in Indiana to prevent the garnishing of wages.  However, in certain situations, you may have a higher degree of protection.

Indiana has not Passed a COVID-19 Wage Protection Law

Covid-19 and Garnishing Wages - Indiana LegislatureIndiana has not altered wage garnishment laws to protect Hoosiers during COVID-19.   The same structure that allows 25% of gross wages to be garnished remains fully intact.  There are no new laws on the books to protect wages during the pandemic.

The Indiana Supreme Court did, however, strike down the attempt to garnish the stimulus checks that were provided by the Federal government through the CARES Act.  Any money related to economic stimulus payments will now be fully protected from garnishment.   Child support was the only exception for a stimulus payment garnishment.

Covid-19 and Garnishing Wages:  Judges May Offer a Higher Degree of Protection

Indiana judges may offer a higher degree of protection from garnishment during the COVID-19 pandemic.  Because there are no new laws to apply, this protection would be allowed on a case-by-case basis within the framework of existing laws.  In Indiana, you are allowed to ask for a reduction of the standard 25% gross wage garnishment.   The judge can allow your garnishment to be reduced to as low as 10% of your income if you are incapable of paying the full 25%.  In addition, judges can encourage settlement agreements that can offer even more affordable payment options.

All Debts Still Exist and Can be Collected During COVID-19

Most debts are still in full legal force during COVID-19 in Indiana.   They will be collected either during the pandemic or shortly thereafter when business returns to normal.  Many creditors are not collecting in full force at this time.  However, collection will likely be coming soon in full force after COVID-19 goes into decline.  If you cannot repay or settle your debts, you should consider Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy.  Both of these options are powerful and offer immediate protection from garnishments.   If you are incapable of repaying your debts, filing bankruptcy might be the best option for both protecting your paycheck and helping you get debt-free.

Do you need more information about Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy.  Make sure to check out the rest of our website.

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