2015 Iowa Code
TITLE XV - JUDICIAL BRANCH AND JUDICIAL PROCEDURES
SUBTITLE 5 - SPECIAL ACTIONS
CHAPTER 642 - GARNISHMENT
Section 642.21 - Exemption from net earnings.


1.  The disposable earnings of an individual are exempt from garnishment to the extent provided by the federal Consumer Credit Protection Act, Tit.III, 15 U.S.C. §1671 1677 (1982). The maximum amount of an employee’s earnings which may be garnished during any one calendar year is two hundred fifty dollars for each judgment creditor, except as provided in chapter 252D and sections 598.22, 598.23, and 627.12, or when those earnings are reasonably expected to be in excess of twelve thousand dollars for that calendar year as determined from the answers taken by the sheriff or by the court pursuant to section 642.5, question number four. When the employee’s earnings are reasonably expected to be more than twelve thousand dollars, the maximum amount of those earnings which may be garnished during a calendar year for each creditor is as follows:

a.  Employees with expected earnings of twelve thousand dollars or more, but less than sixteen thousand dollars, not more than four hundred dollars may be garnished.

b.  Employees with expected earnings of sixteen thousand dollars or more, but less than twenty-four thousand dollars, not more than eight hundred dollars may be garnished.

c.  Employees with expected earnings of twenty-four thousand dollars or more, but less than thirty-five thousand dollars, not more than one thousand five hundred dollars may be garnished.

d.  Employees with expected earnings of thirty-five thousand dollars or more, but less than fifty thousand dollars, not more than two thousand dollars may be garnished.

e.  Employees with expected earnings of fifty thousand dollars or more, not more than ten percent of an employee’s expected earnings.

2.  No employer shall:

a.  Withhold from the earnings of an individual an amount greater than that provided by law.

b.  Dispose of garnished wages in any manner other than ordered by a court of law.

c.  Discharge an individual by reason of the individual’s earnings having been subject to garnishment for indebtedness.

d.  Be held liable for an amount not earned at the time of the service of notice of garnishment or for the costs of a garnishment action.

3.  For the purpose of this section:

a.  The term “earnings” means compensation paid or payable for personal services, whether denominated as wages, salary, commission, bonus, or otherwise, and includes periodic payments pursuant to a pension or retirement program.

b.  The term “disposable earnings” means that part of the earnings of any individual remaining after the deduction from those earnings of any amounts required by law to be withheld.

[C51, §1901; R60, §3307; C73, §3074; C97, §4011; C24, 27, 31, 35, 39, §11763; C46, 50, 54, 58, 62, 66, 71, §627.10; C73, 75, 77, 79, 81, §642.21]

84 Acts, ch 1239, §11, 85 Acts, ch 178, §14, 2011 Acts, ch 25, §77
Referred to in 537.5105, 537.5106, 537.5201, 627.6, 630.3A, 642.2, 642.22

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