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QUESTION: Hi I already have a wage employer informed me they overpaid me. Since I have direct deposit and no paper check stub I rarely go on line to check. Now they want to deduct my wages so between that and the garnishment I will have no income of the next 4 payment periods or 2 months. I tried to explain what happened and they,madebit seem like I knew and did this purposefully. I offered different ideas wven to pay it back over 8 pay checks to make,it so I can afford my cost of living expenses like mortgage and car payment but they won't budge... What can I do now??? Thanks

ANSWER: Since effectively your wages have been reduced while your employer is recouping the overpayment, your only real option is to make a motion to reduce the amount of garnishment, given that your wages are effectively reduced.  I realize that that may  be really difficult.  I don't know if you have an attorney or even appeared in opposition to the garnishment.  Your only other option is to find another job if you cannot get your employer to be reasonable under the circumstances.  (I am assuming that you were overpaid; the employer may or may not have been partially at fault -- you didn't explain how the overpayment came about.)

This is a very difficult situation and I really sympathize.  But what are your other options unless you have savings or someone who will loan you money?

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QUESTION: I thank you.. But one more thing.. Neither the garnishment or tecoupment started yet.. I met with the v.p. Of human resources and she is going to try to speak with payroll dept head about sperrading out the repayment from 4 pay periods to 8 or 10.. My biggest question is new jersey has a garnishment law of how much they can take out but does new jersey have a wge deduction law like many other states of no more,than 25% of disposable income

According to what I read, "Is my employer allowed to deduct money from my paycheck for mistakes that I make or for shortages in the cash register?

No, nothing can be deducted from your wages other than those items required or permitted under Federal and State law.  Your employer cannot lawfully deduct money from your pay check for damage to company equipment or for cashier shortages."  

This is the New Jersey law.  So I would ask the V.P. what part of New Jersey law permits a set off for a payment error.  If the company cannot point to something affirmative in the law, then it cannot be done.  However, you can certainly work out a voluntary arrangement.

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Michael T. Hertz


I can answer most questions concerning bankruptcy, whether business or personal, including questions by debtors, creditors, persons interested in purchasing assets from bankruptcy estates, and the like. Also have expertise in tort law, French and Canadian law.


Practiced bankruptcy for 27 years in California and taught bankruptcy for three years in Maine. This included Chapters 7, 9, 11, 12 and 13 cases, representing debtors, creditors (secured and unsecured), bankruptcy trustees, creditors committees, and persons interested in purchasing assets from bankruptcies. Debtors included persons with virtually no money up to large corporations.

Inactive member of the Bar of the State of California. Nonpracticing member of the Bar of Massachusetts. Formerly member of the Maine Bar and conseil juridique in France. Certified by National Committee on Accreditation in Canada.

Georgetown Law Review; California Bankruptcy Journal; Maine Law Review; Dalhousie Law Journal; University of Toronto Law Journal.

Harvard Law School (J.D. 1970; cum laude) and Pomona College (B.A., 1967; cum laude)

Awards and Honors
Selected as a "Superlawyer" in 2005 and 2006 for Northern California.

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