34 CFR 34.14 - Burden of proof.

§ 34.14 Burden of proof.


(1) We have the burden of proving the existence and amount of a debt.

(2) We meet this burden by including in the record and making available to the debtor on request records that show that -

(i) The debt exists in the amount stated in the garnishment notice; and

(ii) The debt is currently delinquent.

(b) If you dispute the existence or amount of the debt, you must prove by a preponderance of the credible evidence that -

(1) No debt exists;

(2) The amount we claim to be owed on the debt is incorrect, or

(3) You are not delinquent with respect to the debt.


(1) If you object that the proposed garnishment rate would cause financial hardship, you bear the burden of proving by a preponderance of the credible evidence that withholding the amount of wages proposed in the notice would leave you unable to meet the basic living expenses of you and your dependents.

(2) The standards for proving financial hardship are those in § 34.24.


(1) If you object on the ground that applicable law bars us from collecting the debt by garnishment at this time, you bear the burden of proving the facts that would establish that claim.

(2) Examples of applicable law that may prevent collection by garnishment include the automatic stay in bankruptcy ( 11 U.S.C. 362(a)), and the preclusion of garnishment action against a debtor who was involuntarily separated from employment and has been reemployed for less than a continuous period of 12 months ( 31 U.S.C. 3720D(b)(6)).

(e) The fact that applicable law may limit the amount that an employer may withhold from your pay to less than the amount or rate we state in the garnishment order does not bar us from issuing the order.

(Authority: 31 U.S.C. 3720D)