Industry Working to Keep Wage Garnishment Bill From Passing in D.C.

Representatives of the ARM industry are trying to rally support to stop a wage garnishment bill from becoming law in Washington, D.C. The D.C. City Council’s Committee on the Judiciary and Public Safety is holding a public hearing on Thursday, June 7 to discuss the bill, which has a strong chance of becoming law, according to the group that is trying to keep it from happening.

The Wage Garnishment Fairness Amendment Act of 2017 would establish a limit on how much can be garnished from an individual’s wages by assessing and taking into consideration the gross wages and disposable wages earned by the individual. It would also seek to prevent wage garnishment from individuals making less than a living wage and would require notice be provided to those individuals whose wages will be garnished.

Labeling the bill as “harmful,” the group trying to keep it from becoming law is worried that other states would adopt similar legislation, making the D.C. model a template that could be adopted across the country.

Thursday’s hearing is open to the public and either in-person or written testimony is being accepted. Six of the D.C. Council’s 13 members have signed on endorsing the legislation.

The bill, if passed would:

  • Cap a garnishment at 25% of an individual’s disposable wages for a week, as long as the individual’s gross wages are at least 60 times the District’s minimum hourly wage
  • Attach only one garnishment upon an individual’s wages at a time
  • Require the judgment creditor mail the writ of attachment to the individual at the individual’s last known address
  • Require employers not to withhold or pay over any portion of the gross wages payable to the individual for any week in which the wages do not exceed 40 times 150% of the District’s minimum hourly wage


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One comment

  1. I think there is an ethical dilemma regarding this issue. For example, there are limits on how much child support a person can pay, even across different mothers, at 60% of take home pay. Ethically, should we, the ARM industry, truly care about helping the individual get back on their feet, while still recovering funds. Or, should we not care and just take what and when we can? I don’t think there’s a clear cut answer here. Just my opinion.

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