Administrative Wage Garnishment Resolution
Amongst the most misunderstood concepts of student loan default is the Administrative Wage Garnishment (AWG). A wage garnishment is the involuntary deducting of money from an employee's wages to repay a debt. Usually, a wage garnishment cannot take place unless a creditor files a lawsuit and obtains a judgment against the person who owes the debt.
This is not so with an Administrative Wage Garnishment. Here are some facts about AWG:
- If you default on your federal student loan(s), the government can commence an AWG without a lawsuit or a judgment from a court.
- The government can typically take 15% of your disposable pay, per pay period, towards the repayment of your defaulted student loan(s).
- The government must send a notice 30 days prior to ordering a wage garnishment, which gives the borrower an opportunity to either enter into a voluntary payment arrangement or object to the garnishment (if a legal defense applies) and request a hearing.
- If an AWG has already begun and no legal defenses apply, then by entering into a Rehabilitation Agreement and making five rehabilitation payments, the garnishment will be suspended.
The best way to avoid an AWG is to avoid default of your federal student loans in the first place. If it appears that you will not be able to keep up with your federal student loan payments or if you just started missing your payments, be proactive. There are a number of repayment options that are based on a borrower's income. Switching your repayment plan to one of those plans can avoid an imminent default.
If you already are in default of your federal student loans, there are many opportunities to get out of default, before an AWG begins. Most borrowers in default have the opportunity to get out of default by consolidating their federal student loans and then immediately selecting one of the aforementioned income-based repayment plans.
If you or someone you know are faced with an AWG of your federal student loan(s), want to avoid an AWG before it happens, or are simply overwhelmed by student loan debt, allow us to demystify your student loans and put you back in control. Please keep in mind that every student loan matter is different. If you would like a shining light to guide you through the student loan debt morass, please contact Leiderman Shelomith Alexander + Somodevilla, PLLC to schedule a no-cost initial consultation.