Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Wage Garnishment Coming to NC?

Many landlords that I talk to complain about the difficulty of collecting judgments in North Carolina. That could become a little bit easier if the Allow Wage Garnishments to Satisfy Judgments, House Bill 30, passes. The name is not all that clever but it lets you know what the bill is intended to do. House Bill 30 was introduced on February 2, 2011 by Representative T. Moore and is expected to be heard in the Judiciary Committee shortly.

Below is a call to action sent out by the Triangle Real Estate investors Association today in conjunction with the Triangle Apartment Association. I have worked with wage garnishment in New York and New Jersey and it is not the guarantee of payment of a judgment that some may hope, but wage garnishments are helpful. I would echo the message below and suggest you contact the Judiciary Committee members and your local state Senator and House Representative and let them know you support the bill.

Garnishment of Wages Support

(HB 30)

The Judiciary Subcommittee will be hearing HB 30- Garnishment of Wages- Judgments in Civil Actions Bill on Wednesday, February 9 (tomorrow) @ 10AM (delayed).

Rep. Tim Moore is the Prime Sponsor of the bill. Please contact subcommittee members (email addresses below) & ask for them to bring the bill forward.

Under North Carolina law, an employer may be ordered to withhold wages from an employee and pay them to a creditor for the following types of debts: taxes, student loans, child support, alimony, and payment of ambulance services in certain North Carolina counties. However, the courts of North Carolina are not permitted to order an employer to withhold wages for other types of debts such as car loans, credit card debt, and other personal debt items. 46 out of 50 states allow for such garnishment.

Rep Blust- Subcommittee Chair: john.blust@ncleg.net
Rep Alexander: Martha.Alexander@ncleg.net
Rep Blackwell: Hugh.Blackwell@ncleg.net
Rep Daughtry: Leo.Daughtry@ncleg.net
Rep Crawford: Jim.Crawford@ncleg.net
Rep Faison: Bill.Faison@ncleg.net
Rep Hall: Larry.Hall@ncleg.net
Rep Howard: Julia.Howard@ncleg.net
Rep Jackson: Darren.Jackson@ncleg.net
Rep Killian: Ric.Killian@ncleg.net
Rep McGrady: Chuck.McGrady@ncleg.net
Rep Mills: Grey.Mills@ncleg.net
Rep Ross: Deborah.Ross@ncleg.net

Thanks for your efforts!

*Below is an excellent letter sent on the topic. Obviously, DO NOT COPY AND SEND, but use as guide to form your own email:

Please accept my strong support for House Bill 30 - Garnishment of Wage to Satisfy Judgments.

Over the past 20 years I have on occasion been forced to file Small Claims Court actions against individuals and companies who fail to pay or complete services contracted for. When I receive a judgment in my favor collecting on the debt has been nearly impossible. One can file a Writ of Execution to try and obtain personal property or bank accounts but with exemptions and usually small amounts of cash kept in a defendant's bank account it is ineffective. If I want to pursue collection with a third party attorney or collection agency the cost many times begins to outweigh the amount of the judgment.

Garnishment of wage would allow me to effectively collect on the debt. It is done in just about every other state in the country. I can never understand why North Carolina does not allow the "common man/woman," the citizen of this state, to effectively collect on judgment debts via garnishment accept for child support, but allows the government to collect on taxes owed? What good is a court system after a plaintiff jumps through all the hoops, follows the law and procedures and then can't collect on his or her judgment?

My court filings mostly are for rental properties that provide income to my family. How fair is it that we must end up empty handed while a tenant knowingly walks away free from paying for unpaid rent or extensive property damage? Over the 20 year period I have lost an estimated $50,000 with North Carolina losing its tax revenue from that.

I thank you for the consideration of bringing such a bill forward. We need it, and need it now.


No comments:

Post a Comment

Legal Disclaimer

The information you obtain at this site is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. You should consult an attorney for individual advice regarding your own situation. Nothing in this blog shall create an attorney-client relationship. The opinions expressed herein are those of the blogger and not of the PRAET LAW FIRM, PLLC.