Ask the Court to Stop or Reduce a Wage Garnishment
Wage garnishment is one of the primary ways creditors attempt to collect judgments. The creditor files papers in court to have a portion of your paycheck garnished (taken) to pay off your debt. A creditor can collect up to 25% of your income after mandatory deductions, unless part of your paycheck is exempt under other rules.
A Claim of Exemption (WG-006)is the form you must file with the Sheriff to explain why some or all of the wages the creditor wants your employer to garnish should be exempt (excluded). There are laws and rules that say which types of income or property are exempt. You can read about many of these exemptions in Exemption from the Enforcement of Judgments (EJ-155). An adaptation of this document, with hyperlinks to the applicable code sections, is available on the Law Library's website at www.saclaw.org/pages/exemptions.aspx.
IMPORTANT: Once your employer instructs you that they have received an EWO you have 10 days in which to file your Claim of Exemption and Financial Statement with the Sheriff's department listed on the EWO to prevent the garnishment from starting. If submitted late, garnishment will continue unchanged until your claim of exemption is granted by the court or the creditor fails to timely request a hearing to oppose the claim of exemption (in which case the sheriff will consider your claim of exemption granted).
The Judicial Council forms commonly used in this procedure are:
Click here to download this Guide, with step-by-step instructions, including sample forms.