New Garnishment Rules Update

by John B.C. Porter, Esq.

As a follow-up to the previous Client Advisory on this topic, dated March 7, 2011, the Ohio personal exemption of $425 is in addition to the protected amount, if any, calculated over the lookback period. 

Using the same example in the earlier advisory:

An Ohio financial institution receives a garnishment order against an account holder for $8000 on December 2.  The date of account review is the same day, December 2, when the opening balance in the account is $5000.  The lookback period begins on December 1, the date before the date of account review, and ends on October 1, the corresponding date two months earlier.  The account review shows that three Federal benefit payments were direct deposited to the account during the lookback period totaling $4500, one for $1500 on December 1, another for $1500 on November 1, and a third for $1500 on October 1.  Since the $4500 sum of the three benefit payments posted to the account during the lookback period is less than the $5000 balance in the account at the open of business on the date of account review, the financial institution establishes the protected amount at $4500 and seizes the remaining $500 in the account consistent with State law.  But consistent with Ohio law, the account holder has a personal exemption in the amount of $425.  Consequently, the financial institution remits only $75 to the court in response to the garnishment order.

If you have any questions on this matter, please contact Mr. John B. C. Porter, Esq. John is the Managing Attorney in the Columbus Credit Union Group of Weltman, Weinberg & Reis Co., LPA. He can be reached at 614.857.4488 or


2 thoughts on “New Garnishment Rules Update

    • It varies from state-to-state whether personal exemptions exist under that state’s laws, and what that specific exempt amount is.

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