Wage garnishment is a legal procedure in which your employer is required to withhold a certain amount of your paycheck and give it directly to creditors (such as credit card companies, medical facilities, child support, student loan lenders, or tax agencies).
In Colorado, these creditors may be entitled to up to 25% of your weekly disposable income, which can be devastating to families needing the money in order to make ends meet, put food on the table, and pay off necessities like mortgages.
While certain agencies such as medical facilities or credit card companies will be required to obtain a judgment against a debtor in order to garnish his or her wages, others may be able to do so without the court’s permission.
At times an individual may not even be aware that legal action is pending against them until they notice a chunk of their paycheck is missing. Yet, once creditors obtain this “writ of garnishment” or permission, and the individual is served, they must comply with the law.
How We Can Help
The experienced attorneys at Berken & Cloyes will confidently lead you through the struggles of wage garnishment and advise you with the knowledge to surpass it. We will gladly assist you with taking back your life and relieving you of some of the financial stress that comes with having your wages garnished.
Colorado Income Exemptions
First, there are certain income exemptions to look out for that may be beneficial in stopping wage garnishment.
Per Colorado law, it states that the following income cannot be taxed upon:
- Retirement plan benefits
- Public assistance benefits
- Social security benefits
- Worker’s compensation (unless specified for spousal or child support)
- Unemployment and disability benefits (unless specified for spousal or child support)
Statute of Limitations on Colorado Debts
Further, there are limits on the amount of time a creditor can collect on a debt. Once that time has passed, you are legally able to stop wage garnishment.
The statute of limitations in Colorado is as follows:
- Debts from oral or verbal contracts (2 years)
- Open account (3 years)
- Written contract for goods and services (3 years)
- Promissory notes (6 years)
- Domestic judgment in County Court (6 years and renewable)
- Domestic judgment in District Court (20 years and renewable)
It is also worth noting that only one creditor can obtain one income withholding order at a time. Therefore, those who are already paying child support or alimony through one order cannot be subjected to garnishment by another.
Additional Ways to Protect Yourself
In some instances, filing for bankruptcy may be the solution to assist you with your wage garnishment. You may also be able to protect yourself by filing an exemption claim with the court or by raising an objection to the wage garnishment.
If you are looking to stop wage garnishment and are in the Denver, Colorado area, the attorneys at Berken & Cloyes are here to help. Call us today at (303) 623-4357 to schedule an appointment for a free case review and take back your paycheck today.