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How to Withhold for Ordinary Debts

A. First Step

Calculate the protected amount; the employee's check cannot be reduced below this amount.  Note:  As of July 24, 2009, the Federal Minimum Wage Rate will be $7.25/hour.


B. Second Step


Calculate the Maximum Amount Which May Be Garnished; multiply disposable earnings by 25%. Example: assuming weekly disposable earnings of $544.00: $544.00 times 25% = $136.00; no more than this amount can be garnished from the paycheck.

C. Third Step


Calculate the Amount To Be Withheld; subtract the protected amount from disposable earnings, but do not exceed 25% of disposable earnings.
Example 1: Assuming disposable earnings of $600.00 and a biweekly pay period: $600.00 – 580.00 (protected amount, see biweekly pay period example, paragraph A above) = $20.00. Since this does not exceed the 25% maximum ($600.00 times 25% = $150.00), withhold $20.00.
Example 2: Assuming disposable earnings of $2,100.00 and a monthly pay period: $2,100.00 - $1,256.66 (protected amount, see monthly pay period protected amount example, paragraph A above) = $843.34 . Since this exceeds the 25% maximum ( $2,100.00 times 25% = $525.00 ), only the 25% maximum of $525.00  may be withheld.

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