Consumer Credit Protection

Published on AidPage by IDILOGIC on Jun 24, 2005

Administered by:

US Federal Government Agency (see all agencies)
Department of Labor , Employment Standards Administration
CFDA #: 17.306

Purpose of this program:

To provide restrictions on the amount of an employee's wages or salary which may be garnisheed, and prohibit employers from discharging employees by reason of garnishment for any one indebtedness.

Possible uses and use restrictions...

The general rules for applying the Federal restrictions on garnishment, effective September 1, 1997, are: If an individual's weekly disposable earnings are $154.50 or less, no amount may be garnisheed; if the weekly disposable earnings are more than $154.50 but less than $206.00, only the amount in excess of $154.50 may be garnisheed; and if the weekly disposable earnings are in excess of $206.00 or more, 25 percent of disposable earnings may be garnisheed. The Act, as amended, limits court orders for the support of any person to 50 percent of the disposable earnings of an individual supporting another spouse or child and to 60 percent of disposable earnings if not. An additional 5 percent may be garnished for support payments more than 12 weeks in arrears. The order must be issued by a court of competent jurisdiction or in accordance with an administrative procedure, which is established by law, which affords substantial due process, and which is subject to judicial review. The restrictions do not apply under Federal bankruptcy proceedings for wage-earners, nor do they apply to debts due for State or Federal taxes. In addition, garnishments issued under the laws of any State may be exempted from the operation of the Federal law where the Secretary of Labor determines that such laws provide substantially similar restrictions. Under no circumstances may an employee be discharged from employment by reason of garnishment for any one indebtedness, although State laws may provide additional protection.

Who is eligible to apply...

Any person whose earnings have been subjected to garnishment is entitled to the protection provided by the Act in the United States, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands; Outer Continental Shelf lands defined in the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act (Chapter 345, 67 Stat. 462); American Samoa, Guam, Wake Island; and Johnston Island. Under the law, earnings are defined as compensation paid or payable for personal services, including wages, salary, commissions, bonuses, and including periodic payments pursuant to a pension or retirement program.

Eligible Applicant Categories:
Eligible Functional Categories:
Credentials/Documentation

None.

Note:This is a brief description of the credentials or documentation required prior to, or along with, an application for assistance.

About this section:

This section indicates who can apply to the Federal government for assistance and the criteria the potential applicant must satisfy. For example, individuals may be eligible for research grants, and the criteria to be satisfied may be that they have a professional or scientific degree, 3 years of research experience, and be a citizen of the United States. Universities, medical schools, hospitals, or State and local governments may also be eligible. Where State governments are eligible, the type of State agency will be indicated (State welfare agency or State agency on aging) and the criteria that they must satisfy.

Certain federal programs (e.g., the Pell Grant program which provides grants to students) involve intermediate levels of application processing, i.e., applications are transmitted through colleges or universities that are neither the direct applicant nor the ultimate beneficiary. For these programs, the criteria that the intermediaries must satisfy are also indicated, along with intermediaries who are not eligible.

How to apply...

Application Procedure:

Persons having knowledge of wage and employment practices which are not in compliance with the minimum standards of these acts, and persons seeking advice or assistance concerning the application of the Federal wage garnishment law to specific situations, including persons seeking remedy to an illegal action under the law, should contact the nearest office of the Employment Standards Administration, Wage and Hour Division listed in the telephone directory under United States Government, Labor Department. If no listing is shown for you locality, contact the nearest district office of the Wage and Hour Division listed in Additional Contact Information - FMR Help under the Employment Standards Administration. Unless otherwise authorized, the names of persons making inquiries are kept confidential to the maximum extent possible under existing law.

Note: Each program will indicate whether applications are to be submitted to the Federal headquarters, regional or local office, or to a State or local government office.

Award Procedure:

Not applicable.

Note: Grant payments may be made by a letter of credit, advance by Treasury check, or reimbursement by Treasury check. Awards may be made by the headquarters office directly to the applicant, an agency field office, a regional office, or by an authorized county office. The assistance may pass through the initial applicant for further distribution by intermediate level applicants to groups or individuals in the private sector.

Deadlines and process...

Deadlines

None.

Note: When available, this section indicates the deadlines for applications to the funding agency which will be stated in terms of the date(s) or between what dates the application should be received. When not available, applicants should contact the funding agency for deadline information.

Range of Approval/Disapproval Time

Not applicable.

Preapplication Coordination

None. This program is excluded from coverage under E.O. 12372.

Note: This section indicates whether any prior coordination or approval is required with governmental or nongovernmental units prior to the submission of a formal application to the federal funding agency.

Appeals

Not applicable.

Note: In some cases, there are no provisions for appeal. Where applicable, this section discusses appeal procedures or allowable rework time for resubmission of applications to be processed by the funding agency. Appeal procedures vary with individual programs and are either listed in this section or applicants are referred to appeal procedures documented in the relevant Code of Federal Regulations (CFR).

Renewals

Not applicable.

Note: In some instances, renewal procedures may be the same as for the application procedure, e.g., for projects of a non-continuing nature renewals will be treated as new, competing applications; for projects of an ongoing nature, renewals may be given annually.

Who can benefit...

Any person whose earnings have been subjected to garnishment.

Beneficiaries
About this section:

This section lists the ultimate beneficiaries of a program, the criteria they must satisfy and who specifically is not eligible. The applicant and beneficiary will generally be the same for programs that provide assistance directly from a Federal agency. However, financial assistance that passes through State or local governments will have different applicants and beneficiaries since the assistance is transmitted to private sector beneficiaries who are not obligated to request or apply for the assistance.

What types of assistance...

Advisory Services and Counseling

Programs which provide Federal specialists to consult, advise, or counsel communities or individuals to include conferences, workshops, or personal contacts. This may involve the use of published information, but only in a secondary capacity.

Investigation of Complaints

Federal administrative agency activities that are initiated in response to requests, either formal or informal, to examine or investigate claims of violations of Federal statutes, policies, or procedure. The origination of such claims must come from outside the Federal government.

How much financial aid...

Range and Average of Financial Assistance

Not applicable.

Note: This section lists the representative range (smallest to largest) of the amount of financial assistance available. These figures are based upon funds awarded in the past fiscal year and the current fiscal year to date. Also indicated is an approximate average amount of awards which were made in the past and current fiscal years.

Obligations

(Salaries and Expenses) Not Separately Identifiable. (Note: Obligations for 17.306 are included in program 17.303.)

Note: The dollar amounts listed in this section represent obligations for the past fiscal year (PY), estimates for the current fiscal year (CY), and estimates for the budget fiscal year (BY) as reported by the Federal agencies. Obligations for non-financial assistance programs indicate the administrative expenses involved in the operation of a program.

Account Identification

16-0105-0-1-505.

Note: Note: This 11-digit budget account identification code represents the account which funds a particular program. This code should be consistent with the code given for the program area as specified in Appendix III of the Budget of the United States Government.

Examples of funded projects...

Not applicable.

About this section

This section indicates the different types of projects which have been funded in the past. Only projects funded under Project Grants or Direct Payments for Specified Use should be listed here. The examples give potential applicants an idea of the types of projects that may be accepted for funding. The agency should list at least five examples of the most recently funded projects.

Program accomplishments...

Joint agreements to refer inquiries, complaints and leads have been entered into by the Employment Standards Administration and the Federal Trade Commission.

Criteria for selecting proposals...

Not applicable.

Assistance considerations...

Length and Time Phasing of Assistance

Not applicable.

Formula and Matching Requirements

Not applicable.

Note:
A formula may be based on population, per capita income, and other statistical factors. Applicants are informed whether there are any matching requirements to be met when participating in the cost of a project. In general, the matching share represents that portion of the project costs not borne by the Federal government. Attachment F of OMB Circular No. A-102 (Office of Management and Budget) sets forth the criteria and procedures for the evaluation of matching share requirements which may be cash or in-kind contributions made by State and local governments or other agencies, institutions, private organizations, or individuals to satisfy matching requirements of Federal grants or loans.

Cash contributions represent the grantees' cash outlay, including the outlay of money contributed to the grantee by other public agencies, institutions, private organizations, or individuals. When authorized by Federal regulation, Federal funds received from other grants may be considered as the grantees' cash contribution.

In-kind contributions represent the value of noncash contributions provided by the grantee, other public agencies and institutions, private organizations or individuals. In-kind contributions may consist of charges for real property and equipment, and value of goods and services directly benefiting and specifically identifiable to the grant program. When authorized by Federal legislation, property purchased with Federal funds may be considered as grantees' in-kind contribution.

Maintenance of effort (MOE) is a requirement contained in certain legislation, regulations, or administrative policies stating that a grantee must maintain a specified level of financial effort in a specific area in order to receive Federal grant funds, and that the Federal grant funds may be used only to supplement, not supplant, the level of grantee funds.

Post assistance requirements...

Reports

Not applicable.

Note: This section indicates whether program reports, expenditure reports, cash reports or performance monitoring are required by the Federal funding agency, and specifies at what time intervals (monthly, annually, etc.) this must be accomplished.

Audits

Not applicable.

Note: This section discusses audits required by the Federal agency. The procedures and requirements for State and local governments and nonprofit entities are set forth in OMB Circular No. A-133. These requirements pertain to awards made within the respective State's fiscal year - not the Federal fiscal year, as some State and local governments may use the calendar year or other variation of time span designated as the fiscal year period, rather than that commonly known as the Federal fiscal year (from October 1st through September 30th).

Records

Not applicable.

Note: This section indicates the record retention requirements and the type of records the Federal agency may require. Not included are the normally imposed requirements of the General Accounting Office. For programs falling under the purview of OMB Circular No. A-102, record retention is set forth in Attachment C. For other programs, record retention is governed by the funding agency's requirements.

Regulations...

Authorization

Consumer Credit Protection Act, Public Law 90-321, 5 U.S.C. 1671-1677, as amended; Public Law 95-30.

Note: This section lists the legal authority upon which a program is based (acts, amendments to acts, Public Law numbers, titles, sections, Statute Codes, citations to the U.S. Code, Executive Orders, Presidential Reorganization Plans, and Memoranda from an agency head).

Regulations, Guidelines, And Literature

Publications furnished free in limited quantities: Pamphlet: The Federal Wage Garnishment Law, Basic Information. Regulations, 29 CFR Part 870, Restriction on Garnishment.

Contact information...

Web Sites
Regional Or Local Office

Persons having knowledge of wage and employment practices which are not in compliance with the minimum standards of these acts, and persons requesting information or publications should contact the nearest Office of the Wage and Hour Division, listed in the telephone directory under United States Government, Labor Department. If no listing is shown for your locality, contact the nearest district office of the Employment Standards Administration, Wage and Hour Division, listed in the Additional Contact Information - FMR Help.

Note: This section lists the agency contact person, address and telephone number of the Federal Regional or Local Office(s) to be contacted for detailed information regarding a program such as: (1) current availability of funds and the likelihood of receiving assistance within a given period; (2) pre-application and application forms required; (3) whether a pre-application conference is recommended; (4) assistance available in preparation of applications; (5) whether funding decisions are made at the headquarters, regional or local level; (6) application renewal procedures (including continuations and supplementals) or appeal procedures for rejected applications; and (7) recently published program guidelines and material. However, for most federal programs, this section will instruct the reader to consult the so-called Appendix IV of the Catalog due to the large volume of Regional and Local Office Contacts for most agencies. This information is provided in Additional Contact Information (see below).

Headquarters Office

Administrator, Wage and Hour Division, Employment Standards Administration, Department of Labor, Washington, DC 20210. Telephone: (202) 693-0051.

Note: This section lists names and addresses of the office at the headquarters level with direct operational responsibility for managing a program. A telephone number is provided in cases where a Regional or Local Office is not normally able to answer detailed inquiries concerning a program. Also listed are the name(s) and telephone number(s) of the information contact person(s) who can provide additional program information to applicants.

Additional Contact Information (Appendix IV)

Due to the large volume of regional and local office contacts for most agencies, full contact information is also provided separately here in a PDF format: