Administrative Wage Garnishment (2024)

Learn about the administrative wage garnishment (AWG) process, including how to request an AWG hearing.


SBA may order your employer to pay a portion of your disposable pay to satisfy delinquent non-tax debt owed to the United States through a process called administrative wage garnishment (AWG).

SBA debtors undergoing AWG have the right to a hearing before a hearing official if it’s requested in writing disputing either (1) the existence or amount of the debt, or (2) the terms of the repayment schedule (except a repayment schedule the debtor and SBA agreed to in writing).

Hearings for AWG Initiated by the Treasury Department

If you wish to request a hearing,andthe Treasury Department or a private collection agency working for the Treasury Department has initiated the AWG (on behalf of SBA), follow the instructions on the Notice of Intent to Initiate Administrative Wage Garnishment that you received. If you have any questions, contact the Treasury Department at:

U.S. Department of the Treasury

Attn: AWG Analyst

Administrative Wage Garnishment Liaison

PO Box 830794

Birmingham, AL 35283-0794


1-866-896-2947 Telecommunications Device for the Deft (TDD)

Hearings for AWG initiated by SBA’s National Disaster Loan Resolution Center

If SBA initiated the AWG and you wish to request a hearing, complete and submit the AWG Hearing Request Form.

NOTE: This form is notfor use on loans serviced by the Treasury Department.

Administrative Wage Garnishment (2024)


Administrative Wage Garnishment? ›

Administrative Wage Garnishment (AWG) is a debt collection process that allows a federal agency to order a non-federal employer to withhold up to 15 percent of an employee's disposable income to pay a delinquent non-tax debt owed to the agency.

What is the most wages can be garnished? ›

Federal law limits wage garnishments to 25% of your disposable income (15% for federal student loans) or the amount exceeding 30 times the federal minimum wage, whichever is less. Individuals with a child support order can garnish up to 65% of disposable earnings for child support.

Can you stop a garnishment once it starts? ›

If your wages or bank account have been garnished, you may be able to stop it by paying the debt in full, filing an objection with the court or filing for bankruptcy.

Is wage garnishment embarrassing? ›

Wage garnishment can be a painful and embarrassing process for the employee.

Is there a way around wage garnishment? ›

What's your first name? Still, you have certain rights in the garnishment process. If you receive a notice of a wage garnishment order, you might be able to protect or exempt some or all of your wages by filing an exemption claim with the court. You can also stop most garnishments by filing for bankruptcy.

How to survive wage garnishment? ›

6 Options If Your Wages Are Being Garnished
  1. Try To Work Something Out With The Creditor. ...
  2. File a Claim of Exemption. ...
  3. Challenge the Garnishment. ...
  4. Consolidate or Refinance Your Debt. ...
  5. Work with a Credit Counselor to Get on a Payment Plan. ...
  6. File Bankruptcy.
Jul 6, 2022

Can you negotiate a wage garnishment? ›

Try to negotiate

A wage garnishment judgment can be costly and time-consuming for a creditor to obtain and for you to appeal, so reaching a payment agreement early on, if at all possible, is recommended.

How fast can a garnishment be stopped? ›

Some employers have stopped wage garnishments upon the filing of the bankruptcy case, however, most will want something from the sheriff's department to stop it. Once all the factors are taken into account, it takes about 7 days to 4 weeks to release a wage garnishment after it is filed.

Can you settle a debt after garnishment? ›

The wage garnishment can be stopped immediately. Once you file your employer will be notified right away to stop taking money from your pay. You can make a settlement to deal with the debts subject to the garnishment. You will also deal with other outstanding debts you may have, giving you a fresh financial start.

What states prohibit garnishment? ›

States that prohibit wage garnishment for consumer debt:
  • North Carolina.
  • Pennsylvania.
  • South Carolina.
  • Texas.

How do you respond to a wage garnishment letter? ›

Respond to the garnishment notice

The notice you received in the mail may ask that you complete and return a form (usually a verification of employment) providing information about your business and employee. Return it by the date requested.

Will wage garnishment hurt my credit? ›

The garnishment doesn't just hurt your budget, but it can also drag down your credit scores. Although wage garnishments don't appear directly on your credit reports, that doesn't mean they're invisible to lenders.

How to respond to a garnishment? ›

Usually, a form will be included with the garnishment notice that you can use to write your objection and request a hearing. If it isn't, ask for one from the clerk of the court that sent you the garnishment notice.

Can you be garnished twice for the same debt? ›

It is not legal for your wages to be garnished twice by two different employers for the same debt. This is known as double-dipping and it is not allowed by law. The court and/or IRS should provide you with an itemization of the alleged debt so that you can determine if it is accurate and why you owe it.

What is 30 times the federal minimum wage? ›

Wage Garnishment Limits

For example, if you make $800 per week after taxes and other qualifying deductions, your maximum wage garnishment would be $200. As of March 21, 2022, the federal minimum wage is $7.25, and 30 times that is $217.50.

Can debt consolidation stop wage garnishment? ›

If your wages are being garnished, you're not alone. According to a study on wage garnishment in the United States, more than one in every 100 workers was the subject of a wage garnishment in 2019. But you may be able to stop wage garnishment with a debt consolidation loan, if you can qualify for one.

How much can my wages be garnished in CA? ›

The federal and state government can garnish your wages for unpaid taxes. California can garnish up to 25% of your income for state taxes. The federal government will garnish your wages based on your income and number of dependents.

What is the federal wage garnishment law? ›

The wage garnishment provisions of the Consumer Credit Protection Act (CCPA) protect employees from discharge by their employers because their wages have been garnished for any one debt, and it limits the amount of an employee's earnings that may be garnished in any one week.


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