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Elected officials may lose wage garnishment protection

Many residents in Oregon as well as in other states have experienced great financial pressures in recent years. Even with the economy improving slightly, the struggles can continue. For some people, this may include the need to file bankruptcy or the loss of possessions in the form of repossession or even wage garnishment. These experiences can not only leave logistical challenges but be embarrassing to people who are subject to them as well.

In neighboring Idaho, elected officials have enjoyed immunity from having their wages garnished since 1939 when a law was enacted that prevented any such action. The law, however, only protects against state judgments from collecting debts via garnishments. Unpaid federal taxes, for example, can still be obtained by garnishing a state lawmaker’s pay.

A new law initially led by a Republican member of the state legislature is now being proposed. The House State Affairs Committee is introducing the bill and, if passed, it would eliminate the protection that state officials have against any and all garnishment action. This would mean that all persons in Idaho would be treated equally when facing financial challenges, missed payments or other income issues.

When climbing out of a financial hole, the threat of repossession or asset forfeiture is all too real. If you are concerned about these or other actions against you, it might be well worth your time to talk to an attorney who has experience in this area of law. Understanding the options that you have can give you the ability to protect yourself and your assets more fully.

Source: The Spokesman-Review, “Idaho lawmakers could lose wage garnishment protection,” February 14, 2014

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