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Ohio Judgment Collection Law: Information for Debtors

Introduction

This page presents resources of special interest to judgment debtors. Please see the Home page of this guide for helpful books at the Franklin County Law Library and the Laws page for Ohio and Federal statutes. 

Debtors need to Request a Hearing on the garnishment because Oh. Rev. Code Sec. 2329.66 provides many exemptions, both partial and total, from garnishment. Know your rights and bring your proof to the hearing.

Steps to Minimize Wage Garnishment

1. If you are sued on a debt, make sure you answer the complaint and come to all hearings in the case. 

2. If the creditor does get a judgment against you, within 15 days of receiving the “Notice of Court Proceedings to Collect Debt" have your employer complete the "Payment to Avoid Garnishment" form and return it to your creditor with the  monthly payment due. You might get this form in the mail from the creditor, or there is a sample in the Forms box on this page.

3. If you have a lot of debts, you can file a "Request for Appointment of Trustee", which will essentially make the Clerk of Courts your trustee. You will pay a certain amount into the court every month and the court will pay your creditors. You can find the "Request for Appointment of Trustee" form in the Forms box on this page.

4. You have the right to a court hearing if you disagree with the amount of money proposed to be taken from your check. Complete the “Request for Hearing” form and file it with the Clerk of Courts. You should get a copy of the Request for Hearing form with the Notice to Judgment Debtor letter sent to you by the Court. If this form was not sent to you, a copy of the form is in the Forms box on this page. Fill in the blanks and file the form with the Clerk of Courts. On the Request for Hearing Form, you can explain why you disagree with the amount you are supposed to pay your creditor. However, you don’t have to give any reasons until the court hearing. You must return this Request for a Hearing form to the Court within 5 days of receiving the “Notice to Judgment Debtor” letter. 

5. What can I argue at the hearing? You can only argue that the wrong amount is being taken from your paycheck. Only 25% of each paycheck can be taken by your creditors and the following cash payments cannot be taken by creditors: worker’s compensation, unemployment compensation, disability payments, OWF payments, or child support or spousal support received. If you pay child support, the amount that can be taken will be even less than 25%. You cannot argue that you do not owe the money. The court has already determined that you owe the money.

6. Your wages will be garnished (money will be taken from your paycheck) until: 1. The amount you owe is paid off. 2. You get a trustee appointed to you. 3. A bankruptcy court issues an order that stops the payment. 4. A court decides that you owe money to someone else, and that debt is more important. The new debt will be paid from your paycheck instead. (No matter what, no more than 25% of each paycheck can be taken by creditors.) 

7. It is against the law for your employer to fire you from your job solely because your wages are being garnished unless there has been more than one garnishment in any 12-month period.

Forms

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