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Some Income Is Protected from Garnishment

If you are facing a garnishment of funds for outstanding debts, you may be able to protect your money if it came from certain sources.

Other methods of protecting your funds, such as creating a corporation or placing money in a jointly-held bank account are unreliable for protecting your money. However, protection of exempted funds is not automatic–you must prove the source of income to receive protection, so it’s important to contact a lawyer when you are facing garnishment of funds.

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Some people think that creating a corporation will protect their funds. Even if you are the signator and sole shareholder of the corporation, those funds are protected from direct garnishment, if the judgment does not pertain to the corporation itself. However, your creditor or creditors may be able to obtain a receivership to take possession of your affairs. The receiver will then have access to the corporate funds and can pay them to your creditors.

Similarly, you might think that a joint account will protect at least half your funds if the other party on the account is not a party to your debt, but this is uncertain. If any of the funds are shown as belonging to you and eligible for garnishment, then a judge has the discretion to allow seizure of all funds. The only way to protect these funds is to show that all funds either belong to the debtor or are exempt from garnishment.

Funds Exempt from Garnishment

Garnishment is intended to give your creditors access to funds that you are unwilling to turn over voluntarily. However, the process is not intended to leave you completely destitute if you are unable to earn sufficient wages to support yourself. To ensure you are able to sustain yourself despite disability, retirement, or other eventualities, the law protects some forms of income.

Protected forms of income include both federal and Michigan benefits:

  • Individual Retirement Account (IRA)
  • Social Security benefits
  • Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits
  • Veterans’ Assistance benefits
  • US civil service retirement benefits
  • Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC)
  • General Assistance (GA) benefits
  • Unemployment compensation benefits
  • Workers’ Compensation benefits
  • Income benefits received under the Michigan Civil Service Act
  • Income benefits received under the Michigan Retirement Act
  • The first $500 on deposit in a savings and loan savings account

This is not an exhaustive list. If you are facing garnishment of funds, it is important to consult a lawyer to determine what funds might be protected under law.

Protecting Your Funds

These funds are not automatically protected. If a garnishment is attempted, your account may be frozen immediately, and you may have as little as 14 days to file an objection!

You will then be granted an objection hearing at which you will be given the opportunity to prove the funds come from an exempted source. You must attend this hearing or it will be dismissed and you will lose the funds, no matter their source.

At Jay Trucks and Associates, we work hard to obtain Workers’ Compensation and other benefits for people who have been injured. We want to make sure those funds are protected according to the law. To learn more about protecting these funds from garnishment, please contact us today.

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Since 1979, Jay Trucks & Associates has been dedicated to fighting for those who have been injured. Whether you have been injured in an accident, on the job, or denied Social Security Disability, you can count on our experienced attorneys to be dedicated to your case and focused on getting you all of the money you deserve.

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At Jay Trucks & Associates, we've worked hard over the past few decades to fight for our clients to get them all of the money they deserve. Whether it was for an auto accident, injury, workers' compensation, or Social Security Disability case, our experienced attorneys have helped our clients fight for their rights and get their lives back on track.
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The Jay Trucks & Associates’ office staff was amazing. Shelly and Sarah kept me informed and up-to-date, and were very compassionate and caring. The office and attorneys handled both my worker’s compensation and Social Security Disability claims. Nice job, with the positive conclusion to both. (The only thing I would have wished for was a sped up timeline, but that was on the Defendants and not Jay Trucks’ office.) Thank you again for all your help and assistance.

H. Alexander
Jay Trucks & Associates, PC: Michigan's Lawyers for the Injured
Jay Trucks & Associates, P.C. serves clients across the State of Michigan in injury, workers' compensation, and Social Security Disability cases.
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Jay Trucks & Associates, PC
600 Pine Street
Clare, Michigan 48617
Phone: 800-762-8623
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The information provided on this website by Michigan personal injury attorneys, Jay Trucks & Associates, P.C. is offered for informational purposes only; it is not offered as and does not constitute legal Personal Injury advice. Jay Trucks & Associates, P.C. does not seek to represent you based upon your visit or review of this website. This Website may be considered advertising under the rules of the State Bar of Michigan. You should not make legal hiring decisions based upon brochures, advertising, or other promotional materials. Past results obtained by this law firm do not guarantee future case results. Our experienced attorneys serve the entire state of Michigan, handling injury, accident, workers' compensation, and Social Security Disability cases. Contact personal injury attorneys, Jay Trucks & Associates, P.C. to schedule a free initial consultation at 800-762-8623.