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Garnishment Surety Bond

Garnishment allows creditors to take part of a person's wages or property to resolve their debts. According to rules outlined in the Consumer Credit Protection Act, garnishments cannot exceed 25% of someone's weekly wages. In some other cases, garnishments cannot proceed until the party wanting to garnish secures the appropriate bond.

What is a Garnishment Surety Bond?

When a plaintiff goes to court to garnish someone's wages, the courts may require them to get one of these bonds before the litigation proceeds. Having a bond allows the plaintiff to begin garnishing wages or bank balances before the judge has settled the lawsuit. However, if the judge settles in the defendant's favor, ruling the garnishments unwarranted, and the plaintiff refuses to return the money seized throughout the duration of the trial, the defendant may file a claim against the bond seeking compensation. Garnishment bonds hold plaintiffs financially accountable, which helps keep unmerited civil cases out of the courts and ensures justice for defendants who have had their wages garnished unlawfully.

How does a Garnishment Surety Bond work?

If the judge rules in favor of the defendants and the plaintiff refuses to pay back whatever was garnished, the defendant files a claim against the bond. The bond company will investigate the claim, and if it proves true and the plaintiff still refuses to pay, the bond company settles the debt. Lastly, the bond company collects whatever amount it paid out plus interest and fees from the plaintiff - the person with the final financial responsibility.

What are exemptions to Garnishment?

Some types of wages and benefits are exempt from garnishment: social security, disability, child support, alimony, and several others. If you plan to pursue litigation and need a bond, be aware of what can and cannot be garnished.

Garnishment vs Attachment

Garnishment involves a creditor deducting money from someone's paycheck or bank account on a recurring basis until a debt is settled. With an attachment, the debtor turns over a lump sum in person, usually in a court setting. Though similar, these two types of collections have important differences.

Who should get a Garnishment Bond?

The courts will decide that. If a judge instructs you to get a bond, begin looking for a surety immediately. Your trial cannot proceed and you will not be able to garnish wages without a bond, so put this at the top of your list of priorities.

Who are the parties involved in a Garnishment Bond?

All surety bond agreements involve three parties:

  • Principal - The principal is the bonded party and the party responsible for paying any claims filed against the bond.
  • Obligee - The obligee is the bond beneficiary and the party allowed to file claims and receive compensation.
  • Surety - The surety is the company that issues bonds to the principle and manages payments to the obligee. The surety guarantees to pay valid claims, but they have the right to collect all debts (plus interest) from the principal.

How much does a Garnishment Bond cost?

That depends on state statutes and the whims of the court. Typically, the value of the bond reflects the amount someone intends to garnish. The garnishment bond cost, however, is only a small percentage of the total, as little as 1%. How much someone pays depends on their credit history.

How are claims handled for Garnishment Surety Bond?

The surety investigates the claim, which is usually easy in this case given the court judgement. Then the surety compensates the claimant (the obligee) and bills the principal for that amount. A surety will always compensate valid claims and always hold the principal accountable for their debts.

How to apply for a Garnishment Surety Bond?

It takes just a few minutes to apply with Viking Bond Service. Simply complete our standard bond application with basic information about your background, provide a copy of the court order requiring the bond, and turn over any other information requested by the underwriting team. That team will quote you a price, and once you pay, the bond becomes active and your case can continue.

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