Michigan law and Federal Law protects certain types of income and benefits from garnishment, levy or legal process.
If your bank accounts have been seized under an order for garnishment, you may not be completely out of luck. You may have legal rights and defenses available to you. If your bank accounts were recently garnished and you can prove that the money in the account were federal or state retirement benefits or were funds that you received under certain federal or state programs, you may have the right to demand that the funds be returned to you.
If you receive income or benefits from the sources below and your bank account has been recently garnished, please consult with a qualified Debt Relief Attorney at Resnick & Moss, P.C. at (248) 642-5400.
Benefits under Michigan Law:
- Benefits received under the Vietnam Veteran Era Bonus Fund. (M.C.L. 35.1027.)
- Retirement benefits received under a Michigan Public Employee Retirement System established the State of Michigan:
- The State Employees’ Retirement Act (M.C.L. 38.1 – 38.69)
- The Wayne State University Employee Retirement System (M.C.L. 38.371 – 38.376)
- The Fire Fighters and Police Officers Retirement Act (M.C.L. 38.551 – 38.562)
- The City Employees’ Retirement (M.C.L. 38.701 – 38.706)
- The Michigan Legislative Retirement System Act (M.C.L. 38.1001 – 38.1080)
- The Public School Employees Retirement Act of 1979 (M.C.L. 38.1301 – 38.1467)
- The Municipal Employees Retirement Act of 1984 (M.C.L. 38.1501 – 38.1558)
- The State Police Retirement Act of 1986 (M.C.L. 38.1601 – 38.1648)
- The Judges Retirement Act of 1992 (M.C.L. 38.2101 – 38.2670)
- Retirement Benefits received under the Public Employee Retirement Health Care Funding Act (M.C.L. 38.2736)
- Home Energy Tax Credits – Any income tax credit for heating fuel costs for your homestead or for home weatherization assistance (M.C.L. 206.527a)
- Family support subsidy payments received under the Mental Health Code (M.C.L. 330.1158a)
- Aid, relief, or assistance given under the Michigan Social Welfare Act. (M.C.L. 400.63)
- Payment received under the Worker’s Disability Compensation Act. (M.C.L. 418.821)
- Benefits under the Michigan Employment Security Act. (M.C.L. 421.30)
Benefits received under Federal Law.
- Insurance Claims under the Federal Crop Insurance Act. (7 USC § 1509).
- Retirement Benefits received under the Federal Civil Service Retirement Act. (5 USC § 8346)
- Retirement Benefits under the Federal Employees’ Retirement System (5 USC § 8470)
- Benefits received under the Lighthouse Service Employees act (33 USC § 775)
- Social security benefits (42 U.S.C. § 407(a))
- Retirement Benefits under the Federal Railroad Retirement Act of 1974 (45 USC §231M)
- Retirement Benefits received under the Central Intelligence Agency Retirement and Disability System (Except for State Order for payment of Domestic Support Obligations) (50 USC § 2094)
15 USC § 1673 – Restriction on garnishment
(a) Maximum allowable garnishment
Except as provided in subsection (b) of this section and in section 1675 of this title, the maximum part of the aggregate disposable earnings of an individual for any workweek which is subjected to garnishment may not exceed
(1) 25 per centum of his disposable earnings for that week, or
(2) the amount by which his disposable earnings for that week exceed thirty times the Federal minimum hourly wage prescribed by section 206 (a)(1) of title 29 in effect at the time the earnings are payable,
whichever is less. In the case of earnings for any pay period other than a week, the Secretary of Labor shall by regulation prescribe a multiple of the Federal minimum hourly wage equivalent in effect to that set forth in paragraph (2).
(1) The restrictions of subsection (a) of this section do not apply in the case of
(A) any order for the support of any person issued by a court of competent jurisdiction or in accordance with an administrative procedure, which is established by State law, which affords substantial due process, and which is subject to judicial review.
(C) any debt due for any State or Federal tax.
(2) The maximum part of the aggregate disposable earnings of an individual for any workweek which is subject to garnishment to enforce any order for the support of any person shall not exceed—
(A) where such individual is supporting his spouse or dependent child (other than a spouse or child with respect to whose support such order is used), 50 per centum of such individual’s disposable earnings for that week; and
(B) where such individual is not supporting such a spouse or dependent child described in clause (A), 60 per centum of such individual’s disposable earnings for that week;
except that, with respect to the disposable earnings of any individual for any workweek, the 50 per centum specified in clause (A) shall be deemed to be 55 per centum and the 60 per centum specified in clause (B) shall be deemed to be 65 per centum, if and to the extent that such earnings are subject to garnishment to enforce a support order with respect to a period which is prior to the twelve-week period which ends with the beginning of such workweek.
(c) Execution or enforcement of garnishment order or process prohibited
No court of the United States or any State, and no State (or officer or agency thereof), may make, execute, or enforce any order or process in violation of this section.
Note: If you make less than 290.00 per week, the amount of wage garnishment is limited to the Amount of your Disposible Earnings less $217.50. Disposible incomes above $290.00 are subject to the 25% limitation.