Garnishments/Wage Attachments

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.

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