Now That You Have a New York Judgment, Can You Garnish Wages?

Now That You Have a New York Judgment, Can You Garnish Wages?Congratulations on obtaining a New York judgment for monies due and owing to you or your company. Whether the claim was vigorously defended or the defendant failed to appear in the case, the end result is the same: a piece of paper, a judgment. Winning your case gives great satisfaction but does not pay the bills. The task before you, which is most rewarding, is to turn the paper into money.

There are many ways to satisfy a New York judgment and the Courts are extremely liberal in allowing your New York collection attorney to avail themselves of most of the remedies without Court intervention. Only an experienced collection attorney can understand and anticipate the nuances of judgment enforcement.

Today’s blog will focus on income executions (wage garnishments). Although the concept of income executions is simple, there are many nuances and situations when an income execution sounds great but at the end of the day will not yield any monies to satisfy the judgment.

An income execution can be used when the judgment is against a “natural” person. You must know the source of monies that the judgment debtor is receiving or about to receive. The source must be named in the execution so that the Marshal or Sheriff knows where to levy (serve the paper in order to demand the monies). The monies are categorized as compensation; wages, salary, commission, or bonus from another source. The source must be located in New York.

You want to make sure that your income execution will yield (produce) monies to begin satisfying your New York judgment. There are situations wherein the income execution is in fact valid, for example, your judgment debtor works and is a salaried employee but the execution cannot be honored because of other issues. Some of these issues may be:

  • The individual judgment debtor’s net pay (disposable income) must exceed certain minimums before a wage garnishment can take effect. If the compensation does not exceed the minimum, the execution will not be honored at this time.
  • Child support, government tax levies, or government student loan liens. These types of liens and judgments are given priority and the judgment debtor’s wages may be garnished up to 25%. If the compensation is garnished up to 25% because of one of these types of liens or judgments, the execution will not be honored at this time.
  • Existing income executions. Only one at a time for up to 10% of disposable earnings. The result is you will have to wait in line.

Enforcing a New York judgment with the goal of satisfying the judgment with monies is often tricky. Every case is different because every person is different; different spending habits, work habits, personalities and the like. These factors come into play and must be considered in deciding how to execute on the judgment to reap the most monies and obtain your reward!

Don’t sit on the sidelines, be in the game. You want to make sure to use an experienced collection attorney to satisfy your New York judgment so that you do not stand behind others in line waiting to get paid.