Florida’s Wage Exemption Statute provides protection for those who meet the definition of "head of a family". And, who are facing a judicial garnishment or filing for bankruptcy. A head of a family who pays for more than 50% of a dependent’s living expenses cannot go through garnishment. This is if their net income after deductions is less than $750 per week. If the head of a family earns more than $750 per week after deductions, then they can only go through garnishment on the amount that exceeds $750. This is if they sign a written waiver allowing a creditor to seize income. In other words, a head of a family cannot go through garnishment unless they agree in writing to garnishment.
Wage garnishment protection does not only concern income, but it 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 commingled with other funds. The wage garnishment exemption that protects accumulated earnings does not only concern those who are heads of the family. A non-head of a 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. However, it comes with certain restrictions. For example, a head of family may be able to file bankruptcy. And, they may be able to claim the wage garnishment exemption. This is 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, that have not 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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