Wage Garnishment To Collect Student Loans

A man called me concerning collection of an education loan. The caller had defaulted on payment of a large education loan, and the government had turned over collection to a private collection firm and its attorneys. The collection firm threatened to garnish the caller’s wages. The caller explained that he supported his spouse and that he was head of household. Initially, I told him that his wages were protected from garnishment by Florida Statutes because of his head of household status. When I looked into the matter further I discovered that there are federal laws and regulations concerning collection of student loan.

These laws specifically permit wage garnishment, and they state further, that the governments garnishment rights supersede state law regarding wage garnishment. I found cases in other states which said that the federal government’s right to collect default student loans preempted the state’s garnishment protections. It would appear that the federal government can garnish the wages of a Florida head of household to collect student loan debt. Please email me if someone is aware of contrary law.