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Terms and Definitions

What does garnish mean?

Updated: May 21, 2024

Garnish definition and meaning

To garnish is to withhold part of an employee’s wages on behalf of a creditor or another third party — typically in response to a court order.

 

More about garnishing

When wages are garnished, they are taken from an employee’s post-tax earnings. Employers are commonly required to garnish wages when an employee has unpaid taxes, child, or spousal support obligations, but garnishments can also be issued to satisfy an employee’s student loan debts, lease defaults, credit card debts, or other court orders.

Using garnish in a sentence

“If I don’t pay back these loans, they’re going to garnish my paycheck.”

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