Florida’s Wage Garnishment Exemption Applies in Bankruptcy
Written by Emil Fleysher | August 20, 2012 | Bankruptcy
Florida’s Wage Exemption Statute provides protection for those who meet the definition of “head of family” and are facing a judicial garnishment or filing for bankruptcy. A head of family who pays for more than 50% of a dependent’s living expenses cannot be garnished if their net income after deductions is less than $750 per week. If the head of family earns more than $750 per week after deductions, then they can only be garnished on the amount that exceeds $750 if they signed a written waiver allowing a creditor to seize income. In other words, a head of family cannot be garnished unless they agree in writing to be garnished.
Wage garnishment protection is not limited to income but also protects certain accumulated earnings. Exempt income that has been deposited in a bank account is also exempt from garnishment for six months following the date of deposit provided that the money is identifiable as income and has not been commingled with other funds. The wage garnishment exemption that protects accumulated earnings is not limited only to those who are head of family. A non-head of family may exempt 75% of their net earnings that have been deposited for 6 months provided that they too are identifiable and traceable.
If you are considering filing bankruptcy, Florida’s wage garnishment exemption can be an important means for protecting earnings, but it comes with certain restrictions. For example, a head of family may be able to file bankruptcy and claim the wage garnishment exemption in order to protect 6 months worth of earnings that have accumulated in the bank. However, the exemption of earnings deposited in bank accounts is limited to funds that are traceable and have not been commingled with other sources of income or deposits. For this reason, it is usually advisable to have income deposited in a separate bank account that only holds earnings.
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