A court may order a garnishment to help a successful [[wex:plaintiff]] collect money [[wex:damages]] from a [[wex:defendant]]. A garnishment order instructs a third-party who owes money to the [[wex:defendant]] to pay some or all of that money to the [[wex:plaintiff]] instead of the the [[wex:defendant.]] This third party is called a "garnishee."

Most garnishments affect [[wex:defendant|defendants']] wages. For example, a court might garnish a [[wex:defendant|defendant's]] wages to pay [[wex:child_support|child support]], student loans, or back taxes. The federal Consumer Credit Protection Act, codified at [[USC:15:1671|15 USC § 1671]] et. seq., limits wage garnishments to 25% of an employee's take-home pay, or 30 times the federal [[wex:minimum_wage|minimum wage]], whichever is less. [[USC:15:1673|15 U.S.C. § 1673(a)]]. Many states have similar restrictions on wage garnishments. See [[wex:table_civil_procedure|State Civil Procedure Rules]].

A few courts allow [[wex:plaintiff]] [[wex:creditor|debtor_and_creditor|creditors]] to request wage garnishment even before the [[wex:plaintiff]] wins his or her case as a [[wex:provisional_remedies|provisional remedy]]. See, e.g., [[FRCP:64|Rule 64(b)]] of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. Usually, however, courts prefer to use other [[wex:provisional_remedies|provisional remedies]]. See, e.g., [[wex:attachment]].

See [[wex:civil_procedure|Civil Procedure]].