Colorado enacts wage garnishment reform
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Friday, May 31, 2019

Colorado enacts wage garnishment reform

Colorado enacts wage garnishment reform

By Payroll and Entitlements Editorial Staff

A wage garnishment reform measure was signed into law on May 20 by Colorado Governor Jared Polis. H.B. 1189, L. 2019 reduces disposable earnings by health insurance premiums, reduces the amount subject to garnishment, and provides more detailed information to the judgment debtor regarding garnishment.

Currently, the amount of earnings subject to garnishment is 25% of the individual’s disposable earnings for a week or the amount the person’s disposable earnings for a week exceed 30 times the state or federal minimum wage, whichever is less. H.B. 1189 changes the amount subject to garnishment from 25% to 20% of disposable earnings for a week and from 30 to 40 times the amount a person’s disposable earnings for a week exceed the state or federal minimum wage.

The cost of court-ordered health insurance for a child provided is deducted from an individual’s disposable earnings subject to garnishment. H.B. 1189 also deducts from the individual’s disposable earnings subject to garnishment the cost of any health insurance that is provided by the person’s employer and voluntarily withheld from the person’s earnings.

Further, the bill creates an exemption that permits individuals to prove that the amount of their pay subject to garnishment should be reduced or eliminated if the individual can establish that such reductions are necessary to support the individual or the individual’s family.

H.B. 1189 also requires clearer and more timely notice to an individual whose wages are being garnished and gives the person more time after the notice is received before garnishment starts.

H.B. 1189 is effective August 2, 2019, but is subject to referendum petition (in which case it would go before voters in the November 2020 General Election; The measure will apply to writs of garnishment issued in 2020. State of Colorado, Office of the Governor, Press Release, May 20, 2019.

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