Enacts GS 75-16.3 to allow a judgment creditor awarded a judgment in which a judgment debtor is found to have knowingly and willfully committed unfair and deceptive acts or practices affecting commerce in violation of GS 75-1.1, to motion for a court in the county where the debtor resides to order garnishment of the disposable earnings of the judgment debtor at any time after attempting execution of such a judgment that has been returned wholly or partially unsatisfied after exhausting other available remedies under Article 31 of GS Chapter 1 governing supplemental proceedings. Requires the judgment creditor to have sent a certified letter to the judgment debtor's last known address regarding wage garnishment and for the judgment debtor to have failed to pay or make reasonable arrangements to pay the judgment within 10 days of the mailing prior to filing a motion requesting garnishment.
Details required content of the judgment creditor's motion and hearing notice; sets a filing fee. Provides for the court's authority to enter an order of garnishment following proper notice and hearing; bars ordering garnishment if the judgment debtor is making regular payments to the judgment creditor of at least 10% of the judgment debtor's monthly disposable earnings, or if economic hardship would result to the judgment debtor or the judgment debtor's dependents if the garnishment is ordered. Caps an order for garnishment at the lesser of 15% of the judgment debtor's monthly disposable earnings or the amount by which the disposable earnings for that pay period exceed an amount calculated by multiplying the federal minimum hourly wage by 50 times the number of weeks in the pay period, as specified. Details required content of an order of garnishment and requires personal service of the order on the judgment debtor and the garnishee; allows for motion to modify or dissolve the order. Provides for the garnishee to withhold and transmit to the judgment creditor the amount ordered to be garnished. Provides for a $5 fee for the garnishee for each payment made under the order. Requires the judgment creditor to notify the garnishee in writing within five business days of the judgment's satisfaction.
Provides for the order to continue until the underlying judgment is satisfied, the judgment debtor ceases to be employed by the employer (unless subsequently reinstating or reemployed within 90 days), or the 10 year statute of limitations has expired. Provides for priority of the garnishment order against others under the statute in the order they are served on the employer. Places garnishment under other authorities by government entities, by public hospitals, for child support, and other entities superior to the priority of orders under this statute. Lists the priority of all payments received by the judgment creditor, with record costs of the judgment and garnishment orders to be credited first, and attorneys' fees and costs awarded credited last. Requires the judgment creditor to file notice with the clerk of superior court of payment in full within 60 days of receipt. Provides for a $100 penalty and the award of attorneys' fees and costs to the judgment debtor if the judgment creditor fails to file the notice within 30 days following written demand of the judgment debtor. Provides for improper garnishment. Includes five defined terms.
Effective October 1, 2021.
Bill S 340 (2021-2022)Summary date: Mar 23 2021 - View summary