Can a Debt Collector Garnish My Wages After Seven Years?

Yes. If a creditor obtained a court judgment against you prior to the expiration of the relevant debt’s statute of limitations, then they can garnish your wages until the debt has been repaid. Your wages can be garnished indefinitely for U.S. Department of Education student loan defaults.

Wage garnishment can put a devastating squeeze on your finances. It’s reasonable to want to know how long a wage garnishment can last.

What happens after 7 years of not paying my debt?

If a debt collector has gone to court and obtained a legal judgment against you, your wages can be garnished until the debt has been repaid. That might be seven months, seven years, or even longer.

If you have defaulted on a student loan funded by the U.S. Department of Education, you may receive a notice of wage garnishment. If you do not arrange for a repayment plan or challenge the garnishment within 30 days, then the garnishment will go in effect and last until your student loans have been repaid.

Can a creditor get a court order to garnish my wages after seven years?

A slightly different question has to do with the period of time during which a creditor can sue you and obtain a legal judgment that allows them to garnish your wages. Different states have different statutes of limitations for various kinds of debt. If the debt is older than the statute of limitations for that type of debt in your state – meaning there has been no activity or payment towards the account – then a creditor or debt collector can’t take you to court. Because they can’t take you to court, they can’t get a court order to garnish your wages.

A complete list of each state’s statute of limitations can be found here.

Keep in mind that student loan debt doesn’t have a statute of limitations.

You have rights related to wage garnishment under both state and federal law. Lemberg Law has a team devoted to representing people who have been subjected to wage garnishment, or who have been harassed, threatened, deceived, or abused by debt collectors. Call 475-277-1600 and receive a free consultation, or submit our online request form.

Have questions? Call us now at 475-277-1600 for a Free Case Evaluation.

Our services are absolutely FREE to you.

The harassing company pays our fees.

  • Jennifer

    My wages was garnished for a debt in 2007. My wages were garnished in 2021. The debt was 13 years old. How can you be sued and garnished for a debt that old in the state of Florida? I couldn’t afford legal council and thought they were suing by mistake. I don’t remember having a credit card in the year stated. Is there any hope for me. So far I have paid $5020 on a judgement for $8422.00?

  • Kavitha

    I was sued back in 2016 for over $ 7500.00 for a amex credit card. I stopped making payments in 2015 due to financial hardship. I answered to all the summons as Pro Se as I could not afford a lawyer. I spite of all that the judge gave them a default judgement. I did nit know that a summary judgement was given to them until the money was taken out of my banking account which had some $. 140.00 in it. They tried another bank account which I had closed before I started operating the one they took the money. Now they have sued me I guess to get the money from my work place. It’s just not right that it over 4 years since my debt is time barred. But since the judgement is valid for 7 years it becomes a valid debt. It just doesn’t make sense.

  • Maria

    I just received a judgement it states it was filed in 9/2013, they filed a renewal for additional 10 years. I have no idea what the judgement is for it does not state this is the first time I am receiving this. How do I see if this is really for me or someone else as I had theft idenity. Also, how can this company do an extention when I never received the first. How do I go about denying this. San Joaquin county stockton ca

  • Chris l

    I had a judgement against me in 2012 in NY now I received court paperwork for garnishing my wages can this happen never paid anything and have never been to court for this

  • Rod P

    Is a court judgement still enforceable even if the case was filed while I was legally residing overseas for 5 years? I received a judgement letter for a debt that was back in 2010. I currently reside in Texas and the debt was in California while I was in the military. I moved overseas after I retired, but came back to the US and now currently reside in Texas. Can that old judgement still be used to garnish my Pay? How do I check if the Case number on the judgement is even real or legit. Thanks

  • Worried m

    I had a judgement granted against me in 2010… haven’t bn to court or paid a penny on it but now I got court papers to garnish my wages?!? Is this legal??

  • Johanna S

    I received a writ of garnishment for mine and my husband’s bank account for dental services preformed in 2006. It is now 2021. Isn’t this past the statute of limitations?

  • Julie

    We had a debt that was filed against us back in 2008 through the clerk of court from a collection agency and a 3rd party lawyer. We did receive notice back then however I called the company to try and settle the debt but they refused. Since then we’ve not heard anything from them. The actual collection agency is no longer in business and the place that was trying to sue us is no longer around. Yet yesterday they all of a sudden started to garnish my husband’s wages. We reside in Polk County, Iowa. Is this even legal?

  • Hallis

    I went to court early this month to vacate judgement agaisnt me, however judge denied my request. This renewal of judgement is after 10 years. My defences was I did not receive the first judgement why would they be able to renew it. Unfortunately judge didn’t put aside the judge he denied my request. Can collection agency garnish my check? Do I need to file bankruptcy? I live in Los Angeles, CA.

  • Latasha

    Hello i had a loan from speedy cash in 2013 i wasnt tryin not to pay them back so much stuff have been goin on up until now i havent been to court or anything for it they just started calling me being rude harrassing me can they just garnish my wages like that please help me

  • Mia M

    I live in Kansas, (sedgwick county), I had a judgement against me in November 1991. Which I know I paid off over the course of 1992. I obviously cannot prove it NOW because it was dang near 30years ago. The other day I received a wage garnishment in the mail. When I called she said it was probably “interest accrued”. Can they do this?

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