A quick post on a topic I get asked about often: Wage Garnishment.
Tennessee judgment creditors can garnish wages or contract sums due to debtors pursuant to Tenn. Code Ann. § 26-2-105, et seq. and § 29-7-101, et seq. Tenn. Code Ann. § 29-2-106 establishes the garnishment formula that calculates the amounts paid to the garnishor and the amounts to be retained by the debtor (typically 25% of the debtor’s wages). Garnishments are effective for six (6) months after issuance, § 26-2-214(b)(1), and they are are paid in order of priority, so you may be competing with other creditors who go after the income first.
Collecting against a debtor’s wages is an effective way of getting paid, but, for debtors on the brink of bankruptcy, some caution should be exercised to determine if the seizure of potentially scarce income will push the debtor too hard. If your debtor is already stretched thin, things will only get worse when you take 25% of his or her pay, so this is a weapon that should be used only with discretion.