Michigan Garnishment laws & HR compliance analysis

Michigan Garnishment: What you need to know

A garnishment is an order of a court to an employer (the garnishee) to withhold a sum of money from an employee's earnings for payment of a debt. The state of Michigan draws a distinction between garnishments for support obligations and garnishments for other kinds of debts. A wage garnishment in Michigan continues until it is paid off.
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There are numerous state and federal laws pertaining to garnishment. Where state law is more restrictive than federal law (i.e., by protecting a greater amount of salary from garnishment), then state law will govern.
“Periodic payments” are wages, salary, commissions, and other earnings, land contract payments, rent, and other periodic debt or contract payments that are or become payable during the effective period of the writ of garnishment.
Child support. The employer receives a notice from an office called Friend of the Court, directing it to withhold income from the employee's wages. Notice must be properly served, or it is considered a defense to the employer for failure to garnish the wages. The obligation to withhold becomes binding on the employer 7 days after the notice is received, unless the employee requests a hearing. Withholding must begin on the next payday and continue until further notice from the court. Payments must be sent to the appropriate agency within 3 days of the payday. Each payment must be identified with the employee's name and Social Security number, the case number, the date of withholding, and the employer's federal employer identification number. An automated reporting system is available through the state disbursement unit. An employer that fails to withhold and remit may be cited for contempt of court and may be ...

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