2020 Georgia Code
Title 18 - Debtor and Creditor
Chapter 4 - Garnishment Proceedings
Article 1 - General Provisions
§ 18-4-5. (For Effective Date, See note.) Maximum Part of Disposable Earnings Subject to Garnishment; Adverse Employment Action Prohibited

Universal Citation: GA Code § 18-4-5 (2020)
    1. For purposes of this subsection, a "private student loan" shall be defined as an educational or student loan for postsecondary educational expenses but not a loan guaranteed under 20 U.S.C. Section 1070, et seq.
    2. Subject to the limitations set forth in Code Sections 18-4-6 and 18-4-53, the maximum part of disposable earnings for any work week which is subject to garnishment shall not exceed the lesser of:
      1. Twenty-five percent of the defendant's disposable earnings for that week or, if the judgment upon which the garnishment is based arose from a private student loan, then 15 percent of the defendant's disposable earnings for that week; or
      2. The amount by which the defendant's disposable earnings for that week exceed $217.50.
    3. In case of earnings for a period other than a week, the proportionate fraction or multiple of 30 hours per week at $7.25 per hour shall be used.
    4. A garnishee in a garnishment action in which the defendant is not an employee of such garnishee subject to federal and state income tax withholding by said garnishee shall be considered to have no knowledge of, nor any obligation to determine, the disposable earnings for such defendant and may, without liability to any party or nonparty, answer the summons without regard for any potential exemptions based on disposable earnings until such garnishee is served with, or consents to, a court order or a filed modification form as described in subsection (d) of this Code section in the pending garnishment action containing an alternative and enabling basis for determining the amount subject to garnishment.
    5. A garnishee shall only be deemed to have knowledge that the judgment upon which a garnishment is based arose from a private student loan, and shall only be responsible to adjust any calculation of the amount subject to garnishment accordingly, if the summons of garnishment served by the plaintiff on such garnishee states such information conspicuously on its face or upon service on such garnishee of a court order in the pending garnishment action stating such information.
  1. The limitation on garnishment set forth in subsection (a) of this Code section shall apply although the garnishee may receive a summons of garnishment in more than one garnishment case naming the same defendant unless the garnishee has received a summons of continuing garnishment for support as provided in Article 3 of this chapter.
  2. No employer shall discharge an employee by reason of the fact that such employee's earnings have been subjected to garnishment for any one obligation, even though more than one summons of garnishment may be served upon such employer with respect to the obligation.
  3. The amount to be paid by the garnishee in a continuing garnishment may be voluntarily modified to a lesser amount if the plaintiff and the defendant execute the form provided in Code Section 18-4-90. The form shall be effective only upon:
    1. Filing the fully executed and attested form or a copy thereof in the garnishment court; and
    2. Serving the filed form upon the garnishee as provided in Code Section 9-11-4, or, when the garnishment is filed in a magistrate court, by serving the garnishee by using the constable of the magistrate court in the manner set forth in Code Section 9-11-4, or obtaining a written acknowledgment of receipt of service of the form by the garnishee, which may be by, but is not limited to, electronic mail, if the responding representative of the garnishee confirms authority to make such acknowledgment or is an officer or attorney of the garnishee.

(Code 1981, §18-4-5, enacted by Ga. L. 2016, p. 8, § 1/SB 255; Ga. L. 2018, p. 820, § 2/SB 194; Ga. L. 2020,p. 691, § 5/SB 443.)



- 38 C.J.S., Garnishment, § 209 et seq.


- Who is "employee" within debt exemption statute, 58 A.L.R. 777.

Wrongful discharge: employer's liability under state law for discharge of employee based on garnishment order against wages, 41 A.L.R.5th 31.

Protection of debtor from acts of discrimination by private entity under § 525(b) of Bankruptcy Code of 1978 (11 USCS § 525(b)), 105 A.L.R. Fed. 555.

Preemption of state-law wrongful discharge claim, not arising from whistleblowing, by § 301(a) of Labor-Management Act of 1947 (29 U.S.C.A. § 185(a)), 184 A.L.R. Fed. 241.

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