February 18, 2011
Wage Garnishment Bill ‘Goes Too Far’
The Raleigh News & Observer recently published this excellent op-ed by our friend, Rob Schofield, at NC Policy Watch (http://ncpolicywatch.org/) about a terrible bill moving in the state legislature (HB 30) which would expand wage garnishment to include commercial debts:
Another example of this pro-consumer orientation can be seen in the limits we place on wage garnishment. That’s the practice of turning employers and/or banks into collection agencies for creditors.
North Carolina has generally frowned upon wage garnishment, reserving it only for a few special debts such as back taxes and child support. For decades, lawmakers have resisted proposals to allow wage garnishment by general creditors such as credit card companies, retailers and consumer lenders.
Now however, with a new conservative General Assembly in power, some creditors think they see an opportunity to reverse this longstanding policy. A bill sponsored by Rep. Tim Moore, a Cleveland County Republican, would – at least as it was introduced during the early days of the session – do just that by legalizing wage garnishment for general debts for the first time.