Effective September 30, 2015, Michigan will change how garnishments are handled. Instead of expiring after six months and having to be reissued, the new Michigan law allows for garnishments to remain in effect until they are either paid in full or released by the issuer. This means that employers no longer have to repeat setups for reissued deduction orders, and it also means that employers are allowed to charge an administrative fee up to $35, paid by the creditor when the writ is served.
Under the new law, if there is a failure to comply with an order, creditors must notify employers of any errors, and the employer has several opportunities to comply. If there is default judgment, employers may recover money they pay towards an employee’s debt by withholding from wages without written consent as long as they:
- Furnish the employee written notice at least one pay period before they begin withholding.
- Do not deduct more than 15% of gross wages.
- Make the deduction after other deductions, including those required or allowed by law or authorized by the employee.
- Do not reduce the employee’s wages below Michigan’s minimum wage.
A garnishment order is invalid if sent to an employer’s branch or satellite office. The creditor must report the balance of the debt at least every six months, and they must also file a release of the garnishment within 14 days after the judgment is satisfied.