You may have received a garnishment notice from your employer and wonder whether a wage garnishment calculator can help you estimate how much you will be garnished in California.
Wage garnishment in California is different from many other states, so how much will you be garnished?
Below is the California wage garnishment that estimates how much you may be garnished. You can also compare 3 different options, how to stop wage garnishment, and the cost of those options. The calculator is free and does not even require an email address unless you’d like a free review of the data. Please note that this California garnishment calculator is an estimate based on the laws below and may be different from the actual garnishment amount.
There are some states that do not allow wage garnishment, so those would not be in the calculator. Here are the specific California wage garnishment laws that are factored into the CA wage garnishment calculator above.
"Calculate How Much to Withhold After you have figured out the employee’s disposable earnings and the applicable minimum wage, you can calculate how much to withhold from each paycheck. The maximum amount to withhold (if any) is the lesser of two amounts: Amount 1: 25 percent of the employee’s disposable earnings for the week; Or Amount 2: 50 percent of the difference between the employee’s disposable earnings for that week and the applicable minimum wage for that week."
Let’s say that Los Angeles has a higher minimum wage than San Jose or even that of California. For example, California minimum wage is $14.00. Could the calculation be different?
Many states take into consideration the federal minimum wage, and some states such as Maine may take into consideration state minimum wage, but that doesn’t mean the California wage garnishment calculator would be different.
Employers in California may use the employer wage garnishment calculator to help estimate the garnishments amount for employees. Please note that the calculator feels a bit complex and not as simple to use.
First, the creditor requests a writ of execution from the California court. Check an example California writ of execution. Next, the court attaches an earnings withholdings to the write, which authorizes your employer to hold back money from your earnings.
Let’s say you have multiple earning withholding orders in California that could include child support or alimony. Here’s the specific priority for the garnishment calculation in California:
Now that we understand how the wage garnishment calculator works, let’s talk about how to stop wage garnishment in California.
There are a few options that you can pursue to potentially stop a wage garnishment. The wage garnishment calculator provides the option to compare your different options to stop a garnishment.
First, you can try to object to the wage garnishment. When you receive your garnishment documents, you can find instructions on how to object to the garnishment including filing deadlines. If not, you can reach out to the clerk of the court or contact a lawyer to help.
You may also attempt to claim an exemption to the garnishment in some states as well.
In California, you’d file this garnishment exemption form to request an exemption from your garnishment. Please note that this may be difficult to receive.
Filing for bankruptcy in California may eliminate a wage garnishment a judgment related to unpaid debt, especially in those instances when individuals are already living paycheck to paycheck. There are two common consumer bankruptcies to consider.
A Chapter 7 bankruptcy in California is the most affordable and most common bankruptcy in the United States. It is also the fastest, but you could lose assets if the equity that you own in that assets is about the California bankruptcy exemptions.
You also may have to qualify via the California bankruptcy means test. Below are the California median income guidelines for bankruptcy cases filed on or after May 15, 2022. Please note you would add an additional $9,900 for household sizes greater than 9.
|# of People||Annual Income|
A Chapter 13 bankruptcy in California is a payment plan based bankruptcy. It often lasts 3 or 5 years, and you can often protect your assets in bankruptcy even if they are above the exemption. You may consider a Chapter 13 bankruptcy if some of the payments from the wage garnishment would not be discharged in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy.
If you are considering a Chapter 13 bankruptcy in California, you may also want to compare that option to debt settlement. While you don’t have creditor protection in debt settlement, this option can sometimes be cheaper and faster than a Chapter 13 bankruptcy.
You may have taken the wage garnishment calculator and see that it would take out too much of your pay, but now you are wondering whether you could even afford bankruptcy. Thankfully, most attorneys take payment plans for the attorney fees. Some attorneys take most of the Chapter 13 bankruptcy payments in the plan.
While the cost to file bankruptcy in California is less expensive for the Chapter 13 ($313 vs $338), the attorney fees may be triple what you would pay for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy.
Please note that the filing fees can be waived if your income is below certain poverty thresholds. Here’s the California poverty thresholds below.
|# of People||150% Poverty Guideline|
|* Add $4,720 for each individual in excess of 9.|
You may attempt to negotiate a settlement if it’s an unpaid debt. That said, the creditor has the upper hand generally in this position, so you may not get a major discount from the owed debt. Realistically, you may not be able to negotiate a settlement or backpay for support such as spousal or child support.
One question to consider is whether you can afford the amount being taken from your paycheck and understand the duration of how much will be taken.
For example, let’s say you live in Los Angeles or San Diego and are dealing with rental inflation, gas, and food. Let’s say you aren’t able to afford the garnishment. In that case, someone may consider an option such as bankruptcy.
If you are able to afford the garnishment, others may allow it to run its course or try to negotiate. Regardless, you can take the wage garnishment calculator for California to inform your decision.