Writ of Garnishment: A Creditor’s Collection Tool

For anyone who’s ever watched an invoice go unpaid or had difficulty collecting money owed them, a Writ of Garnishment is a powerful tool in ensuring full payment—especially when the debtor is dragging their feet.

The process begins when, armed with an attorney, the creditor approaches the court with the complaint and evidence in support of it. Next comes the court’s judgment, which, if in favor of the creditor, empowers him or her to begin collecting the money in a variety of ways.

One of the most effective collection methods is that of garnishing the debtor’s bank accounts. Once the Writ of Garnishment is served on the bank, credit union, or other financial institution, the financial institution must freeze all funds in the account up to the amount stated in the Writ of Garnishment. When this happens, a notice is issued to the debtor, giving them the opportunity to object. This window usually lasts 21 days from service of the financial institution’s answer to the Writ of Garnishment, at which point the garnished funds become available to the creditor.

Another common garnishment technique includes going straight for the debtor’s paycheck, allowing the creditor to receive a portion of the debtor’s wages each pay period. In Utah, a continuing garnishment can last up to one year, and can be used to tap into a myriad of payment types, including rental payments, commissions, and loans.

Whether you’re a business or an individual, a Writ of Garnishment represents hope for proper and fair payment. Should you have questions about the process or a specific case, we invite you to contact us directly.

Skoubye, Nielson, Johansen Attorneys Salt Lake City Utah

Kevin Bischoff