A garnishee order is a court order that orders the recovery of a judgement debt from the other party’s bank account or wages or from someone else who owes money to the other party.
The garnishee order is addressed to the third party who will be actioning the garnishee order. For example, a bank or employer.
Types of Garnishee Orders
There are two types of garnishee orders:
1. Order for Wages/Salary
This is where the court orders the employer of the other party, as the garnishee, to take the amount owing out of their wages.
Despite the court order, the party who has had their wages garnished is given a minimum amount which cannot be touched by the garnishee – this amount is $500.60 per week. This amount is revised every 6 months, every April and October, to make sure it is in line with the cost of living.
2. Order for Debt
This is where the court orders the bank or the person who owes the other party money, as the garnishees, to pay the money held on behalf of the other party to you instead.
This order allows the garnishee to take all the money that is owed out of the bank account or out of the debt, except a balance of $20.
The person who started the action can apply for another garnishee order if the entire amount is not able to be recovered.
How can I stop a Garnishee Order?
If you have a garnishee order against you, but are unable to afford the amount requested, you can take certain steps, but the time is of the essence and you will need to act as soon as possible before the garnishee order takes effect.
- Apply to the court for a Stay of Enforcement to have more time to pay off the debt by temporarily stopping the court order from coming into effect;
- Pay the judgement debt which will include court costs and possible interest;
- Apply to the court to pay in instalments;
- Apply to the court to have the default judgement set aside if the judgement debt was due to a default judgement.