New Mexico Garnishment: What you need to know

A garnishment is an order of a court to an employer to withhold a sum of money from an employee's earnings to satisfy the employee's debt to a third party. A valid garnishment legally obligates an employer to withhold monies from an employee's wages, subject to certain maximums. Where state laws pertaining to garnishments are more restrictive than federal law, state laws will govern. The state of New Mexico draws a distinction between garnishment for child support obligations and garnishment for other debts.
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Debts other than support. The employer receives a notice of garnishment and has 20 days from the date of service to answer the summons under oath. An uncontested garnishment constitutes a lien against the employee's wages until the judgment is satisfied or until the employment relationship ends. The employer calculates the amount of disposable earnings that may be garnished in accordance with the maximum allowable limits. If more than one garnishment is filed against the same employee, the employer pays them in the order received. The employer is required to provide the employee with an itemized listing of all payroll deductions, including any amounts withheld by way of garnishment (NM Stat. Sec. 50-4-2).
Support Enforcement Act. All state child support orders are subject to immediate withholding (NM Stat. Sec. 40-4A-2). Employers are required to treat any income withholding order issued from another state as if it had been issued by a court in New Mexico. The employer receives a copy of the court order for withholding by personal service or certified mail, with instructions and information about the amount to be withheld. Beginning with the next paycheck, the employer withholds ...

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