Debt Collection, Wage Garnishment and Consumer Rights

Millions of Americans struggle to feed their families after wage garnishment, according to research from ADP and ProPublica.

Despite the way that so many people in Chicago and nationwide struggled financially during “The Great Recession” and our country’s subsequently slow march toward recovery — a struggle that often included credit reporting practices that impinged on consumer rights — millions of Americans experience wage garnishment as part of debt collection, according to recent reporting from the non-profit news service ProPublica.

Working together with the ADP Research Institute on work that also has been spotlighted on National Public Radio, “Garnishment: The Untold Story” stems from a desire to enable employers and consumers to make smarter decisions about their debt management.

Among the findings in the ProPublica/ADP Garnishment Report, which was compiled based on research conducted on13 million working Americans:

  • In 2013, 7.2 percent of American employees had their wages garnished.
  • This rate is slightly slower than the previously-recorded year, 2011, when 7.6 percent of employees had wages garnished.
  • The top reasons for wage garnishment include back child support, student loan debt, consumer debt, tax levies and bankruptcy.

The report’s conclusions about the impact of wage garnishment were even more revealing to our team of Chicago consumer rights lawyers than its statistics.

“The impact (of wage garnishment) is often humiliating and stressful for employees,” says the ADP Garnishment Report. “Both employer and employee interests could be served if companies became more proactive to help those being garnished and potentially decrease future garnishments.”

When debt collection becomes so overwhelming that it impacts your family welfare, please contact Markoff Leinberger online or call (888) 517-9115 to explore your rights with our highly-qualified


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