Wage Garnishment and Necessaries of Living Expenses

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Latest post Tue, Feb 26 2008 6:07 PM by adjuster jack. 5 replies.
  • Mon, Feb 25 2008 10:35 PM

    • Arlimada
      Consumer
    • Not Ranked
    • Joined on Sun, Jul 10 2005
    • Posts 18

    Wage Garnishment and Necessaries of Living Expenses

    Summary: I just received a notice of Wage Garnishment for a judgment against me. The creditor will absolutely not work with me to come to a payment agreement other than for me to come up with the total amount due: $73,000. I am looking into filing Chapter 13 bankruptcy but, for my immediate needs, I must file a claim of exemption form and financial statement - WG006 and WG007.

    I am single with two teenage daughters. I live 20 miles from my work and I usually drive. Public transportation is available to/from my work but only during certain hours of the day and there are many days when I stay later than when the public transportation is available.

    Question: Will my auto expenses (loan payment, insurance, gas) be considered necessaries of living expenses? If not, are my commute expenses considered necessaries of living expenses? My commute expenses, whether by auto or by public transportation, are high. If I end up having to take public transportation, that cost will actually be higher than my auto expenses. If the judge does not take the auto or commute expense into consideration, I will not be able to get to work.

    FYI: This judgment is not related to child support or a debt associated with items purchased as necessaries of living.

    Thanks for your help.


  • Mon, Feb 25 2008 10:56 PM In reply to

    re: Wage Garnishment and Necessaries of Living Expenses

    I have no idea about your keeping the car, but

    never mind your current troubles,
    Why not move closer to work?

    Are things much more expensive?
  • Mon, Feb 25 2008 11:01 PM In reply to

    • Arlimada
      Consumer
    • Not Ranked
    • Joined on Sun, Jul 10 2005
    • Posts 18

    re: Wage Garnishment and Necessaries of Living Expenses

    I live in the San Francisco bay area. My work is on the peninsula (very expensive) and my residence is in the Oakland area. Moving closer to work would be prohibitively expensive.
  • Tue, Feb 26 2008 1:24 AM In reply to

    re: Wage Garnishment and Necessaries of Living Expenses

    I suggest you read up on the wage garnishment and exemption statute:

    http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/cgi-bin/calawquery?codesection=ccp&codebody=&hits=20

    Scroll down to Chapter 5 - Articles 1 through 7.

    It appears that CA follows the federal limits on wage garnishment which allows up to 25% of your net disposable earnings to be withheld.

    Net disposable earnings are what's left after taxes and FICA are withheld.

    I have no idea how liberal or strict CA is on the exemption, but you can bet that if you don't put in a sufficient amount that you would allow to be withheld, then the creditor will oppose your exemption.

    • The right of the people 
    • to keep and bear arms,
    • shall not be infringed.
  • Tue, Feb 26 2008 12:04 PM In reply to

    • Arlimada
      Consumer
    • Not Ranked
    • Joined on Sun, Jul 10 2005
    • Posts 18

    re: Wage Garnishment and Necessaries of Living Expenses

    Thanks for the link. Unfortunately, this person will not accept anything less than 25% of my net. He knows my financial situation from an OEX deposition performed last November which I requested in an effort to get a payment schedule worked out. I won't be surprised if he attempts to take possession of my car even though I provided him evidence in the OEX that the amount owed on the auto loan exceeds the car value by $2,500!
  • Tue, Feb 26 2008 6:07 PM In reply to

    re: Wage Garnishment and Necessaries of Living Expenses

    I don't think you have to worry about your car. There's also an exemption for part of any equity that you might have in the car. I think it's a couple of thousand in CA.

    But I do think you will end up in a hearing about the wage exemption so be prepared with plenty of documentation and hope for the best.

    Meantime, why aren't you considering Ch 7 bankruptcy? Sounds like you might qualify. That big a debt is going to take a lifetime to pay off even at 100 per week. You might as well scrape together the bankruptcy fees before you start losing part of your pay for nothing. Try filling out the means test and see how you do.

    http://www.uscourts.gov/rules/BK_Forms_08_Official/B_022A_0108v2.pdf

    Then talk to a bankruptcy lawyer ASAP.

    • The right of the people 
    • to keep and bear arms,
    • shall not be infringed.
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