Frequently Asked Questions: Administrative Wage Garnishment

Borrower

Employer

 

Borrower

 

ACPE sent me a letter saying my wages are going to be garnished. What does that mean?

Wage garnishment was automatically initiated when your account became 180 or more days past due and you had eligible earnings reported to the Department of Labor.

 

Why didn't I receive a court summons or notice that my wages would be garnished?

Alaska Statute 14.43.147 gives ACPE the administrative (statutory) authority to garnish your wages, which does not require a court summons or notice.

 

Can I request a copy of the judgment you filed to garnish my wages?

Alaska Statute 14.43.147 gives ACPE the administrative (statutory) authority to garnish your wages, which does not require the filing of a judgment.

 

Can an employer charge a fee for processing the AWG payment?

Yes, employers can charge a $5.00 administrative fee for each payment made under the AWG order.

 

How do I appeal the wage garnishment?

Administrative wage garnishment is a consequence of default under your contract and Alaska Statute. You had 30 days from the date on the Notice of Default to appeal the default. The wage garnishment process was not initiated until after the default appeal window closed; therefore, this garnishment will remain in effect until the balance of the loan is paid in full.

 

What can I do to stop the wage garnishment?

Once garnishment has begun it will not be stopped. To avoid future withholdings from your paycheck, your only option is to pay the account in full or settle your account for less than the full amount as soon as possible. Wage garnishment will continue until any payment in full or settlement posts to your account.

 

I can't afford the amount that is going to be garnished; how can I reduce the garnishment amount?

The garnishment amount can only be reduced if you qualify for an increased exemption based on being sole provider for your family or with documented financial hardship.

 

What qualifies as a financial hardship?

A claim of financial hardship must be proven by submitting the amount of costs incurred by your household for basic and necessary living expenses, and the income available from any and all sources to meet those expenses. Your claim is reviewed following the National Standards for basic living expenses established by the Internal Revenue Service under 26 U.S.C. 7122(c)(2). Geographic locations within Alaska are also taken into consideration.

 

What is the definition of a sole provider for my family?

Sole provider is the only provider of income to a household consisting of more than one person.

 

How much is going to be garnished from my paycheck?

How much is garnished from your paycheck depends on how much disposable income you have after certain mandatory deductions are taken into consideration. This amount is determined by your employer. Your payroll office will be able to tell you how much will be taken out of your paycheck.

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Employer

 

How do I fill out the worksheet?

Download the Wage Garnishment Worksheet from the ACPE forms library under General Use Forms. Complete the form and remit the appropriate payment to ACPE following the instructions on the form. The form contains auto-calculating fields that will provide the amount to be garnished when your figures are input into the highlighted fields.

 

This employee doesn't work here anymore. Do I need to return the form?

You do not need to return the form as long as you promptly notify ACPE by phone or email of the employee's last known home address, telephone number, and the name, address, and telephone number of the new employer, if known.

 

Do bonuses or severances qualify as income that can be garnished?

Yes, any monies that can be considered income will be garnished. This includes bonuses, severances, leave cash-in and commissions.

 

Does per diem qualify as income that can be garnished?

Yes, per diem is considered income and qualifies for garnishment.

 

Do voluntary contributions to a retirement plan, such as a 401K, qualify for garnishment?

If the retirement plan through the employer is mandatory, the wages are not garnished. Any amount the employee elects to have put into the plan is considered income and can be garnished.

 

Should I include the cost of health insurance in the employee's mandatory deductions?

Yes, if it is the basic insurance plan provided through the employer. Flexible medical spending deductions are an elective and should not be considered part of the mandatory deduction.

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