(a) "Disposable earnings" means that part of the earnings of an individual remaining after the deduction from those earnings of amounts required by law to be withheld; and
(b) "Garnishment" means any legal or equitable procedure through which the earnings of an individual are required to be withheld for payment of a debt.
(2) The maximum part of the aggregate disposable earnings of an individual for any workweek which is subjected to garnishment to enforce payment of a judgment arising from a consumer credit sale or consumer loan may not exceed the lesser of:
(a) Twenty percent of his disposable earnings for that week, or
(b) The amount by which his disposable earnings for that week exceed thirty times the federal minimum hourly wage prescribed by section 6(a) (1) of the "Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938," U.S.C. Title 19, Sec. 206(a)(1), in effect at the time the earnings are payable.
(c) In the case of earnings for a pay period other than a week, the commissioner shall prescribe by rule a multiple of the federal minimum hourly wage equivalent in effect to that set forthin subdivision (b), subsection (2) of this section.
(3) No court may make, execute or enforce an order or process in violation of this section. Any time after a consumer's earnings have been executed upon pursuant to article five-a or article five-b, chapter thirty-eight of this code by a creditor resulting from a consumer credit sale, consumer lease or consumer loan, such consumer may petition any court having jurisdiction of such matter or the circuit court of the county wherein he resides to reduce or temporarily or permanently remove such execution upon his earnings on the grounds that such execution causes or will cause undue hardship to him or his family. When such fact is proved to the satisfaction of such court, it may reduce or temporarily or permanently remove such execution.
(4) No garnishment governed by the provisions of this section will be given priority over a voluntary assignment of wages to fulfill a support obligation, a garnishment to collect arrearages in support payments, or a notice of withholding from wages of amounts payable as support, notwithstanding the fact that the garnishment in question or the judgment upon which it is based may have preceded the support-related assignment, garnishment, or notice of withholding in point of time or filing.
Note: WV Code updated with legislation passed through the 2013 1st Special Session
The WV Code Online is an unofficial copy of the annotated WV Code, provided as a convenience. It has NOT been edited for publication, and is not in any way official or authoritative.