Monetary judgments including wage garnishment in Alberta is covered under Civil Enforcement Act 108. This law states the provincial court’s jurisdiction over the debtor’s legal liability to an amount owed. It encompasses the percentage that can be taken from a person’s wage as repayment for the debt. The usual amount that can be taken from the debtor’s monthly wage is 30 percent of the net salary. This is the amount that remain after all deductions are taken out. However, the percentage can always be different depending on particular circumstances.
Wage garnishment commonly involves three parties. This involves a debtor or the person who owes the money, and the creditor or the one whom the money is owed to. The third party is the garnishee or the one required to deduct the amount due from the debtor’s wage or account. The garnishee is usually the debtor’s employer.
There are several circumstances that the court considers before passing down a judgement. It includes both the debtor’s personal finances and those of their family. These conditions will affect the percentage that would be taken from the debtor’s monthly wage.
• The debtor’s financial responsibility to his or her family.
The person’s responsibilities to his or her family affect the court’s judgment. This includes any financial family need that requires a significant amount of the debtor’s salary. This will influence the amount that the creditor can take from the debtor’s wage to cover the amount due.
• Any personal circumstances that could affect the debtor’s financial state.
Personal circumstances that can affect the debtor’s financial capability will also be considered. This can include other debts that the person has acquired. However, there should be a legitimate reason and supporting documents that can prove the debtor’s claim.
• The debtor’s conduct during the trial and case investigation.
How the person behaves during the investigation and court hearing will also influence the judgement. This includes the debtor’s behavior while his or her financial status is being investigated. A debtor who cooperates while the case is in process will likely have a more favorable judgment.
• Any financial earnings from the debtor’s dependents and spouse.
The garnishment will require a thorough assessment of the spouse’s monthly earnings. It will also investigate the other dependent’s financial capabilities. A smaller percentage is usually garnished from a debtor’s monthly wage if he or she lives with a spouse and dependents who are also not financially stable.
A debtor who requires garnishment consideration from the court should provide sufficient documents that can strengthen the claim. He or she should include all evidence if the case involves his or her dependents. Debtors should also present all legal documents that can prove his or her relation to them. Dependents can be involved with the case under particular conditions.
• The person who shares a spousal claim on the debtor’s income tax.
• The debtor’s child who is below 18 years old and is presently living with him or her.
• Any relative who is financially dependent on the debtor because of physical or mental incapabilities.
• Any person who is proven to be financially dependent on the debtor.
Deductions Excluded from Garnishment
• Debtor’s Income Tax
• Unemployment Insurance Contribution
• Canada Pension Plan Monthly Contribution
Wage Garnishment Procedure
• Gather Evidence
Creditors who want to file for wage garnishment must be able to submit all necessary requirements. They should be able to present documents that can support the amount owed, the dates inclusive and all other information. Creditors should also identify the total amount owed including all interest from missed payments.
• Case Filing
Creditors can file a case after securing all the documents required. Creditors should then wait while the court investigates and passes down a ruling. The judgment will involve the creditor’s interest and the debtor’s financial status.
• Further Petition
The creditor can file for an additional petition after the court has passed down a judgment. He or she can file for further garnishment that will increase the percentage that the creditor can deduct from the debtor’s account. However, the garnishee summons should be given within the salary week.
How to Handle Wage Garnishments
There are effective ways to avoid and to handle wage garnishments. These will help stop debtors in Alberta from receiving garnishee summons. Those who have already received summons should also follow these steps in order to avoid additional summons and unwanted fees.
• Debt Payment
The best way to avoid wage garnishments or garnishee summons is to pay the debt. This is always best for debtors who are able to come up with the amount due. Debtors should communicate with their creditors in order to come up with an agreement and avoid garnishments.
• Get Legal Help
Debtors who have already received garnishee summons can also go to a Licensed Bankruptcy Trustee. They can seek legal advice and file a consumer proposal. The trustee will then contact the creditor and make an agreement with the other party. After the agreement is made, the debtor is required to pay the trustee once every month to cover the debt. The repayment usually lasts for up to five years. This gives the debtor sufficient time to complete the payment. This is a good way of avoiding undesired fees and collections in the future.
• Personal Bankruptcy
After the debtor files a consumer proposal, he or she can then file for personal bankruptcy. The debtor can go to a Licensed Bankruptcy Trustee to file such a claim. He or she must include all debts acquired including the ones with garnishee summons. People should keep in mind that filing for personal bankruptcy can be difficult and require sufficient evidence.
• Credit Counseling Center
This is an option in some areas in Canada including Alberta. The option allows debtors to file for an Orderly Payment of Debts. This provides the debtor four years to complete payment. It also eliminates all threats of wage garnishment as long as the debtor is able to pay the monthly required amount.
All debtors must cooperate with wage garnishments that the court passes down. They are required to pay the creditor the monthly percentage that the judgement requires if they want to avoid additional case filings. Debtors who fail to provide monthly garnished amounts can be charged with heavier penalties if the creditor decides to file a case.
On the other hand, debtors should also be careful when they make their payments. They should not pay directly to the creditor or the employer as they are not the ones who are legally allowed to recover payments. Debtors should only pay the amount due to the court as this is the legal body that ordered the wage garnishment. Those who make payments to the creditor or the employer might have to pay twice to cover the debt. They may even face legal consequences if they do not directly pay the court.
InfoAviator Publishing is a organization determined to help Canadian consumers understand wage garnishment laws that are currently residing in the cities of (but not limited to) Lacombe, Wetaskiwin,
Brooks, Cold Lake, Camrose, Lloydminster, Fort Saskatchewan, Leduc, Spruce Grove, Airdrie, Grande Prairie, Medicine Hat, St. Albert, Lethbridge, Red Deer, Edmonton, and Calgary,in Canada.