If you are behind on your federal student loan obligations, there is something you should know: The Government can garnish your wages without a court order! Most wage garnishments require court approval but the extraordinary collection powers of the federal government for purposes of collecting defaulted student loans include wage garnishment.
You do have rights, though. Prior to a student loan wage garnishment taking effect, the U.S. Department of Education must mail you a written notice at least 30 days before the garnishment begins. You have the right to know about the type of debt, the amount of debt and that the Department intends to begin a garnishment. The notice must also give you notice as to additional rights such as
- the right to inspect or copy records,
- the right to enter into a repayment arrangement, and
- the right to request a hearing about the legitimacy, amount and collectability of the debt, the rate of withholding under the garnishment and whether you have been employed consistently for less than twelve months after being involuntarily let go from your job.
Don’t ignore a wage garnishment notice. Request a hearing for the 30th day of the notice of garnishment. Then seek qualified assistance. Molleur Law Office is skilled in this area of the law. We may be able to help you avoid a garnishment altogether, or stop one that is currently in place.