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60-2310. Wage garnishment; definitions; restrictions, exceptions; sickness preventing work; assignment of account; prohibition on courts. (a) Definitions. As used in this act and the acts of which this act is amendatory, unless the context otherwise requires, the following words and phrases shall have the meanings respectively ascribed to them:

(1) "Earnings" means compensation payable for personal services, whether denominated as wages, salary, commission, bonus or otherwise;

(2) "disposable earnings" means that part of the earnings of any individual remaining after the deduction from such earnings of any amounts required by law to be withheld;

(3) "wage garnishment" means any legal or equitable procedure through which the earnings of any individual are required to be withheld for payment of any debt; and

(4) "federal minimum hourly wage" means that wage prescribed by subsection (a)(1) of section 6 of the federal fair labor standards act of 1938, and any amendments thereto.

(b) Restriction on wage garnishment. Subject to the provisions of subsection (e), only the aggregate disposable earnings of an individual may be subjected to wage garnishment. The maximum part of such earnings of any wage earning individual which may be subjected to wage garnishment for any workweek or multiple thereof may not exceed the lesser of: (1) Twenty-five percent of the individual's aggregate disposable earnings for that workweek or multiple thereof; (2) the amount by which the individual's aggregate disposable earnings for that workweek or multiple thereof exceed an amount equal to 30 times the federal minimum hourly wage, or equivalent multiple thereof for such longer period; or (3) the amount of the plaintiff's claim as found in the order for garnishment. No one creditor may issue more than one garnishment against the earnings of the same judgment debtor during any one 30-day period, but the court shall allow the creditor to file amendments or corrections of names or addresses of any party to the order of garnishment at any time. In answering such order the garnishee-employer shall withhold from all earnings of the judgment-debtor for any pay period or periods ending during such 30-day period an amount or amounts as are allowed and required by law. Nothing in this act shall be construed as charging the plaintiff in any garnishment action with the knowledge of the amount of any defendant's earnings prior to the commencement of such garnishment action.

(c) Sickness preventing work. If any debtor is prevented from working at the debtor's regular trade, profession or calling for any period greater than two weeks because of illness of the debtor or any member of the family of the debtor, and this fact is shown by the affidavit of the debtor, the provisions of this section shall not be invoked against any such debtor until after the expiration of two months after recovery from such illness.

(d) Assignment of account. If any person, firm or corporation sells or assigns an account to any person or collecting agency, that person, firm or corporation or their assignees shall not have or be entitled to the benefits of wage garnishment. The provision of this subsection shall not apply to the following:

(1) Assignments of support rights to the secretary for children and families pursuant to K.S.A. 39-709 and 39-756, and amendments thereto, and support enforcement actions conducted by court trustees pursuant to K.S.A. 23-492 et seq., and amendments thereto;

(2) support rights which have been assigned to any other state pursuant to title IV-D of the federal social security act, 42 U.S.C. § 651 et seq.;

(3) assignments of accounts receivable or taxes receivable to the director of accounts and reports made under K.S.A. 75-3728b, and amendments thereto; or

(4) collections pursuant to contracts entered into in accordance with K.S.A. 20-169, and amendments thereto, involving the collection of restitution or debts to district courts.

(e) Exceptions to restrictions on wage garnishment. The restrictions on the amount of disposable earnings subject to wage garnishment as provided in subsection (b) shall not apply in the following instances:

(1) Any order of any court for the support of any person, including any order for support in the form of alimony, but the foregoing shall be subject to the restriction provided for in subsection (g);

(2) any order of any court of bankruptcy under chapter XIII of the federal bankruptcy act; and

(3) any debt due for any state or federal tax.

(f) Prohibition on courts. No court of this state may make, execute or enforce any order or process in violation of this section.

(g) The maximum part of the aggregate disposable earnings of an individual for any workweek which is subject to garnishment to enforce any order for the support of any person shall not exceed:

(1) If the individual is supporting a spouse or dependent child other than a spouse or child with respect to whose support such order is used, 50% of the individual's disposable earnings for that week;

(2) if the individual is not supporting a spouse or dependent child described in paragraph (1), 60% of such individual's disposable earnings for that week; and

(3) with respect to the disposable earnings of any individual for any workweek, the 50% specified in paragraph (1) shall be 55% and the 60% specified in paragraph (2) shall be 65%, if such earnings are subject to garnishment to enforce a support order for a period which is prior to the twelve-week period which ends with the beginning of such workweek.

History: L. 1963, ch. 303, 60-2310; L. 1967, ch. 324, § 2; L. 1968, ch. 404, § 1; L. 1970, ch. 238, § 1; L. 1972, ch. 222, § 4; L. 1976, ch. 210, § 7; L. 1977, ch. 206, § 1; L. 1978, ch. 227, § 5; L. 1979, ch. 183, § 5; L. 1982, ch. 250, § 1; L. 1983, ch. 289, § 1; L. 1985, ch. 115, § 51; L. 1988, ch. 212, § 3; L. 1988, ch. 213, § 3; L. 1994, ch. 273, § 5; L. 1996, ch. 195, § 3; L. 1997, ch. 182, § 103; L. 2014, ch. 115, § 234; L. 2022, ch. 31, § 4; July 1.

Source or prior law:

L. 1886, ch. 111, § 1; L. 1889, ch. 268, § 1; L. 1909, ch. 182, § 532; L. 1913, ch. 232, § 2; R.S. 1923, 60-3495.

Cross References to Related Sections:

Garnishment proceedings, see 60-729 et seq.

Law Review and Bar Journal References:

"Attachment and Garnishment Under the New Code," Wilbur D. Geeding, 33 J.B.A.K. 177, 179 (1964).

"Some Comments on the New Code of Civil Procedure," Emmet A. Blaes, 12 K.L.R. 75, 80, 81 (1963).

Subsection (e) mentioned in survey of debtor-creditor law, Robert B. Morton, 12 K.L.R. 211, 231 (1963).

Decision upholding garnishment restrictions discussed in constitutional law survey, Robert I. Guenthner, 17 K.L.R. 333, 344 (1969).

Comparison of section with prior law in "Exemptions—Personal Earnings of Head of Family," Ward E. Loyd, 7 W.L.J. 132 (1967).

Discussion of developments in debtor-creditor law between 1965 and 1969, Robert B. Morton, 18 K.L.R. 351, 380, 381 (1970).

Discussion of impact of the Uniform Consumer Credit Code upon Kansas, Barkley Clark, 18 K.L.R. 277, 292, 296 (1970).

Changes in act affecting protection of the defendant discussed, Larry R. Mears, 9 W.L.J. 460, 463 (1970).

"Wage Garnishment: Reform of the Law in Kansas," Richard S. Wetzler, 18 K.L.R. 925, 926, 927, 928, 937 (1970).

Discussion of the Small Claims Procedure Act, Barkley Clark, 42 J.B.A.K. 147, 148, 149 (1973).

Comment "Focus on Debtors' Rights—Making the Bill Collector Pay," 23 K.L.R. 681, 696 (1975).

Comment "Restrictions on Garnishment and Their Enforcement: Focus on Judicial Implication of a Private Remedy," 23 K.L.R. 729, 732 (1975).

"Professional Liability Insurance: Implication of Termination," Wayne T. Stratton, 77 J.K.M.S. 255, 258 (1976).

Prior section compared with newly enacted section in "Legislation 1977," David J. Heinemann, 46 J.B.A.K. 69, 75 (1977).

"Child Support and The New Federal Legislation," R.E. Schulman and Peter E. Rinn, 46 J.B.A.K. 105, 110, 111 (1977).

"Survey of Kansas Law: Civil Procedure," Jerry G. Elliott, 27 K.L.R. 185, 188 (1979).

"42 U.S.C. § 659 and the Kansas Order of Garnishment," James R. Russell, 48 J.B.A.K. 37, 45 (1979).

"Garnishment in Kansas: A Procedural Paradox," Leon B. Graves, 49 J.B.A.K. 129, 133, 134, 135 (1980).

"Survey of Kansas Law: Family Law," 29 K.L.R. 511, 520 (1981).

"In the Best Interests of the Divided Family: An Analysis of the 1982 Amendments to the Kansas Divorce Code," Nancy G. Maxwell, 22 W.L.J. 177, 236 (1983).

"Bankruptcies in Kansas: A Need to Reform Our Exemption Laws?" Stuart A. Haney, 22 W.L.J. 286, 289 (1983).

"Counselling Debtors on Bankruptcy—Which Chapter to Choose," David J. Berkowitz, 53 J.K.B.A. 272 (1984).

"Kansas Enacts New Provisions for Child Support Enforcement—Mandatory Wage Withholding," Yvonne C. Anderson, Richard A. Forster, 25 W.L.J. 91, 102, 111 (1985).

"Little Used Procedures for Collecting Child Support and Maintenance," Charles F. Harris, Vol. VIII, No. 5, J.K.T.L.A. 9 (1985).

"Survey of Kansas Law: Family Law," Nancy G. Maxwell, 37 K.L.R. 801, 819 (1989).

"The Risks of Underinsuring," Wayne T. Stratton, 90 Kan.Med. No. 11, 300 (1989).

"The Fork in the Road: A Practitioner's Guide to the 1997 Changes in the Code of Civil Procedure," J. Nick Badgerow, 66 J.K.B.A. No. 5, 32 (1997).

"Workers Compensation Review," Jan L. Fisher, Editor, J.K.T.L.A. Vol. XXVIII, No. 2, 22 (2004).

"Workers Compensation Review," Jan L. Fisher, Editor, J.K.T.L.A. Vol. 28, No. 2, 22 (2004).

Attorney General's Opinions:

Real party in interest when creditor sells or assigns a debt to a collection agency versus when creditor places a debt with a collection agency. 2012-11.

CASE ANNOTATIONS

Prior law cases, see G.S. 1949, 60-3495 and the 1961 Supp. thereto.

1. Distinction exists between this exemption and the unconstitutional privileges sought to be granted in 17-1725. Neely v. St. Francis Hospital & School of Nursing, 192 K. 716, 721, 722, 391 P.2d 155.

2. Subsection (d) applies only to the personal earnings of heads of family; not in violation of "equal protection" clause of federal constitution or of sections 16 and 17 of article 2 of the Kansas Constitution; G.S. 1949, 60-3495 cited. Wagner v. Mahaffey, 195 K. 586, 587, 588, 590, 591, 592, 408 P.2d 602.

3. Statute enabling state to recover expenditures in providing counsel for indigent defendants (22-4513) violated equal protection clause of U.S. Constitution. James v. Strange, 407 U.S. 128, 92 S.Ct. 2027, 2028, 32 L.Ed.2d 600.

4. Wage garnishment for past due child support held exception to restrictions hereunder. Brown v. Tubbs, 2 K.A.2d 522, 523, 524, 582 P.2d 1165.

5. Money due independent contractor under construction contract not earnings, not within partial exemption provisions of statute. Coward v. Smith, 6 K.A.2d 863, 864, 636 P.2d 793 (1981).

6. Property must be obtained from estate through exemption process or otherwise for postfiling debtor to accumulate. In Re Koch, 14 B.R. 64, 66 (1981).

7. Parent with duty to support not entitled to notice, prior to garnishment, of assignment of support payments to S.R.S. Whisler v. Whisler, 9 K.A.2d 624, 627, 628, 684 P.2d 1025 (1984).

8. Cited in showing protection of wage earners as principal objective of many laws; constitutionality of no-fault act (40-3101 et seq.) upheld. Burris v. Northern Assurance Co. of America, 236 K. 326, 333, 691 P.2d 10 (1984).

9. Mere placement of account with collection agency where ownership and control remain with creditor does not preclude garnishment. Bieber v. Associated Collection Services, Inc., 631 F.Supp. 1410, 1415 (1986).

10. Cited; limitations on modifications of separation agreement incorporated into divorce decree examined. Bair v. Bair, 242 K. 629, 631, 750 P.2d 994 (1988).

11. Garnishment of social security disability benefits not subject to percentage limitations herein. Mariche v. Mariche, 243 K. 547, 553, 758 P.2d 745 (1988).

12. Properly garnished wages never exempt; lien not avoidable under bankruptcy code § 522(f). In re Rodriquez, 140 B.R. 562 (1992).

13. Debtor-real estate licensee as employee was entitled to garnishment exception for interest in commissions. In re Price, 195 B.R. 775, 777 (1996).

14. Trial court order directing client to pay attorney's lien from unpaid child support settlement affirmed. In re Marriage of Wageman, 25 K.A.2d 682, 684, 968 P.2d 1114 (1998).

15. State law restriction on creditor's ability to garnish more than 25% of debtor's wages applies only to wages before they are paid to debtor. In re Doughman, 263 B.R. 905 (1999).

16. Kansas statute providing for exemption from garnishment applies only to wages before they are paid. In re Adcock, 264 B.R. 708 (2000).

17. Debtor's brokerage account consisting of retirement plan funds did not constitute exempt earnings. In re Carbaugh, 278 B.R. 512, 523 (2002).

18. Prepetition earnings deposited in debtor's bank account prior to debtor's filing did not constitute exempt wages. In re Resler, 282 B.R. 246, 247 (2002).

19. State tax exemption not broad enough to include federal income tax refund where refund not traced to prepetition wages. In re Rangel, 317 B.R. 553, 555 (2004).

20. Social security disability insurance benefits are subject to garnishment for past-due child support. State ex rel. Secretary of SRS v. White, 42 K.A.2d 756, 216 P.3d 727 (2009).

21. Wages that are deposited into a bank account lose their identity as earnings and are subject to garnishment. Stormont-Vail Healthcare v. Sievers, 58 K.A.2d 152, 160, 463 P.3d 431 (2020).

22. Wages can be "earnings" even after they are paid if the employee can directly and specifically identify the funds as wages. Stormont-Vail Healthcare, Inc. v. Sievers, 314 K. 355, 359, 498 P.3d 1217 (2021).


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