Compliance Question of the Week

How can a member challenge a garnishment of an account that contains a protected payment that was not found during the look back period required under the rules from the Treasury for Garnishment of Accounts Containing Federal Benefits Payments?

How can a member challenge a garnishment of an account that contains a protected payment that was not found during the look back period required under the rules from the Treasury for Garnishment of Accounts Containing Federal Benefits Payments?  For example, a protected payment from Military retirement, or a protected funds source that the member deposited by check.

ANSWER:  Depending upon the state from which the garnishment order was issued, the member has certain rights to assert a claim of exception for statutorily protected payments.  Not all government payments are covered under the rules from the U.S. Treasury.  In particular, retirement payments from the U.S. military, NOAA, and Public Health Service are not currently designated as a protected payment in the new rules.

In addition, if the member deposits the payment by a check, it would not be found in the U.S. Treasury look back period.  Even if the member in Oregon had provided the credit union with the affidavit indicating that the member is receiving payments from any of the protected sources under RCW 18.619.

In Oregon, if the member wishes to challenge the garnishment of certain funds, the member would complete the challenge form (ORS 18.850) and submit the completed form to the court with the authority over the writ of garnishment.

In Washington, if the member wishes to challenge the garnishment of certain funds, the member would complete Claim of Exemption form (either RCW 6.27.140 or 6.27.160) and submit the completed form to the clerk of court from which the writ of garnishment was issued.

This question and more like it can be found in CAL, the Compliance Answer Library.