Section 193 of the New York State Labor Law covers wage garnishment laws, more commonly known as “income execution laws.” They allow private judgment creditors as well as state and federal government agencies to collect on past-due debt by seizing part of your paycheck. Although most subsections follow federal wage assignment guidelines, some protect more of your disposable income than federal laws require.
Income Subject to Garnishment
Earnings from wages are subject to income execution from private and public judgment creditors, such as credit card companies and private student loan lenders, child support creditors, the U.S. Department of Education, the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance and the Internal Revenue Service. However, most federal benefits, including Social Security Disability, Supplemental Security Income Benefits and Veterans benefits, are exempt from garnishment by a private creditor.
Income Execution Limits
New York income execution laws differ only slightly from those in Title III of the federal Consumer Credit Protection Act. The most a private creditor or the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance can garnish is 10 percent of your weekly gross salary or 25 percent of your weekly disposable income, whichever is less. However, if your income does not exceed 30 percent of the current minimum wage, a private creditor cannot garnish your wages.
The Department of Education can garnish up to 15 percent of your disposable income, subject to the 30 percent rule. Child support can consume 50 percent to 60 percent of your disposable income. The amount that the IRS can take depends on how many dependents you claim and on your tax deductions.
Multiple Garnishment Rules
The 10 percent and 25 percent income execution limits apply even in a multiple wage assignment situation. If you have more than one income execution order, child support is always the top priority, even if it means stopping an existing garnishment. For two or more orders from private judgment creditors, or an order from a private creditor and the Department of Education, the first one received takes priority.
Just like in most states, a private judgment creditor cannot garnish your wages without a legal judgment for money. However, unlike in most states, a judgment creditor must first serve you with a notice of income execution and give you 20 days to make payment arrangements before sending a writ of garnishment to your employer. In addition, a child support creditor, the Department of Education and income tax agencies can bypass court proceedings by filing an administrative order.