Area of Law: Small Claims Court
Answer # 567
Types of garnishmentRegion: Ontario Answer # 567
Garnishment is an order of the court allowing a creditor to collect the money owed from someone who owes money to the debtor. The person or business who owes money to the debtor is called the garnishee. Generally there are three different types of garnishment: garnishing wages, garnishing bank accounts, and garnishing rent owed to a landlord, where the landlord is also the debtor. In all three cases, payments are made to the court, after which it is the responsibility of creditors to request that the court release these payments to them.
Garnishing wages generally allows a creditor to collect money from the debtor’s employer, who will in turn deduct the amount from the employee’s wages. Under the law if you garnish someone’s wages, you can only collect 20% of each paycheque.
Garnishing a bank account generally allows a creditor to collect the money from the bank where the debtor has an account. The bank will pay the court the full amount that the debtor has in the bank up to the total amount of the debt.
Garnishing rent is only available if the debtor is a landlord. Garnishing rent allows the creditor to collect rent directly from a tenant who owes rent to the debtor-landlord. Tenants will have to pay their rent to the court until the full amount of the debt is paid.
There are some exemptions to what can be garnished. These include: Employment Insurance payments, Old Age Security benefits, Pension benefits, and any disability benefits issued by the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board or Ontario’s Disability Support Program. These cannot be garnished even after they have been deposited into a bank account.
For more information, you can speak with the staff at the Small Claims Court or, contact the Ministry of the Attorney General.
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