Garnishments/Wage Attachments


Q: Where should wage attachments/garnishments for State of Colorado employees be sent?

A: Wage attachments for all State of Colorado Employees, regardless of the location of the State agency or facility where the employee works, should be mailed to:

Office of the State Controller - Central Payroll

1525 Sherman Street, 5th Floor

Denver, CO 80203


Q: How can I find out if a plaintiff/debtor on a garnishment is an employee for the State of Colorado?

A: The State of Colorado currently uses CCCVerify for this information.


Agency Payroll Offices

Q: What should I tell an employee who has questions about their wage attachment?

A: Please have the employee contact Central Payroll by phone (303-866-5804) or email (


Q: What should I do if a wage attachment is served to our agency's payroll office?

A: Sign for the document and immediately send it to Central Payroll.


Q: Should copies of wage attachment documents be kept in the agency's payroll files for the employee?

A: Under no circumstances should copies be kept at the agency's payroll office. All documentation is kept in Central Payroll under strict retention guidelines.


Q: Who should deliver the employee copy of the wage attachment to the employee?

A: Only the agency payroll office may deliver the employee copy of the wage attachment to the employee to maintain confidentiality.


Q: How do I determine if my employee has an active wage attachment?

A:  If an employee has a wage attachment, it is located on the Wage Attachment screen, 22 in Personnel Inquiry. The first thing to look at is the Start and Stop dates on the screen. If the start date is within the pay period being paid, then it is active.  Often, an employee will have more than one wage attachment.  Look at the stop date for each wage attachment. If the stop date is 99/99/9999 (no stop date) or within the pay period, then it is active.

To determine the type of wage attachment, look at the Type. There are several different types of wage attachments.  They include:

CS – child support

SP – child support with court ordered health insurance

GN – garnishment

SL – defaulted student loan OR Colorado Dept. of Revenue tax levy

BK – bankruptcy repayment plan

PP – payment plan

FM, FS, FH, or FJ – IRS levy

The “Vendor” will give you the name and often the phone number of the vendor who is attaching the employee’s wages.  Place the cursor to the left of the title, “Vendor”, and push the PF8 key (Table Inquiry on the web) and the vendor will be displayed.

The “Original Amount” field, if completed, will show the original balance of the attachment.  If it is not completed, this means it is either a child support (with no original amount owed) or a debt where interest accrues while the debt is being paid off.

The “Current Balance” field, if completed, will show the amount owed currently.  Every time a deduction is taken for the wage attachment, this field is reduced by the amount withheld.

The “Amount to Take” field shows the amount being withheld in conjunction with the Frequency/% field.  The Frequency/% field options are:

M- month

P – per pay period

% - percent

An employee may have several combinations of wage attachment types, but they are all based on priorities, as determined by Federal law.  Child support has first priority over any other type of wage attachment.  An IRS levy has second priority.  Defaulted student loans, bankruptcies, and payment plans have third priority.  Garnishments and Colorado Dept. of Revenue levies have fourth priority.  If an employee receives an IRS levy, it will stop all other wage attachments, except child support.  Only one garnishment can be paid at a time, any other garnishments will have to wait until the previous garnishment is paid off or the time expires.  An employee may have more than one child support, student loan, or payment plan at a time.


Q:  How does CPPS calculate wage attachments?

A:  Based upon Federal Law, CPPS calculates most wage attachments as follows:

            Gross Pay (including shift, OT, and LWOP)



            -Taxes (including local tax)

            Disposable Earnings

From Disposable Earnings, child support either takes the full amount for the Frequency or up to 65%.  For child support with court ordered health insurance, Disposable Earnings excludes the amount of the employee’s health insurance.

From Disposable Earnings, defaulted student loans take 10% or 15%.

For a garnishment, it is 25% of Disposable Earnings.  However, if an employee has a child support or a student loan along with the garnishment, the 25% is reduced by the amount withheld for the child support or the student loan.

Colorado Dept. of Revenue levies take 25% of Disposable Earnings.

Bankruptcies and payment plans can take up to 90% of an employee’s Disposable Earnings.  However, these two types are generally voluntary and do not reach that percentage.

An IRS levy is a completely different calculation.  An IRS levy allows the employee all of their deductions (including insurances and additional direct deposits) and then gives them a certain dollar amount of take home pay, based upon minimum wage and inflation, and then take the difference for the levy.



Q: I have a federal tax levy with the IRS and want to have the payments from my payroll checks reduced or stopped. Can this be done?

A: Please call the IRS at 1-800-829-7650. Any changes made by the IRS nust be faxed immediately to Central Payroll at 303-866-4138.


Q: I have a state tax levy with the Colorado Department of Revenue and want the payments from my checks reduced or stopped. Can this be done?

A: Please call the Colorado Department of Revenue at 303-205-8291, option 0, to talk with a representative. Any changes made must be immediately faxed to Central Payroll at 303-866-4138.


Q: How much will be deducted from my payroll check for the wage attachment?

A: Payments are determined by federal and state laws:

Writs of Garnishments - up to 25% of disposable income

Support Payments - up to 65% of disposable income

Education Loans - up to 15% of disposable income

State Tax Levies - up to 25% of disposable income

IRS Tax Levies - determined by the IRS exemption chart


Q: Is disposable income the same as net income?

A: No. Disposable income is gross earnings, less only the deductions required by law (PERA, federal withholdings, state withholdings, medicare, local tax).


Q: I have multiple wage attachments on my payroll record. The law states that garnisments are to be paid one at a time, so why are multiple payments being deducted from my payroll check?

A: Multiple wage attachments can be deducted from a single payroll check, as long as the combined amounts do not exceed the payment amounts determined by federal and state laws.


Q: I just recieved a wage attachment. When will the first payment be deducted from my wages?

A: In most cases, wage attachments are attached to the employee's wages during the current payroll cycle.


Q: I have a wage attachment, but cannot afford to have a payment deducted from my wages. Is there anything I can do?

A: Please contact the vendor/collection agency/attorney issuing the wage attachment. On occasion, reduced payments or payment plans can be arranged. Any changes to the wage attachment must be faxed immidiately to Central Payroll at 303-866-4138.


Q: I have filed for bankruptcy. Will this stop my wage attachment payment deductions from payroll?

A: Please have your attorney fax the Notice of Bankruptcy to Central Payroll at 303-866-4138. All wage attachment payments will be stopped immediately, effective on the current payroll, with the exception of support payments.


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