A garnishment consists in seizing moneys or other things one of your debtors is owing you (called the garnishee). This instrument is served to the garnishee.
The most common case is of course the garnishment of salary (your employer owes you the amount of your salary), but it can also be an attachment on a bank account or of rents (which are due to you by your tenants) for example.
Your salary cannot be seized entirely (except in the case of child support). In order to know the amount that must be seized and the amount that your employer must pay to you every month, you can use the calculation tool put at your disposal by the French-speaking Union of Judicial officers.
It is not the judicial officer but the employer (or his social secretariat) who makes this calculation. It is therefore him that you should contact first if you think there is a miscalculation.
You should know that the garnishment has a collective purpose. This means that it doesn’t only benefit the creditor who initiated the seizure, but all your creditors.
Your employer (or the garnishee in general) will therefore not have to stop the deductions when the seizing creditor will have received the amount of his claim, but indeed when ALL your creditors will have been repaid and when the judicial officer will have sent a release to him.
The procedure consists of different phases:
If you don’t react, the procedure will be continued as described above.
If you don’t agree with the garnishment and after having consulted a lawyer, you can loge an opposition against it before the attachment judge.
You should however know that this is a procedure which is likely to be long and expensive and that the seized moneys will anyway remain blocked as long as this procedure has not been completed.
You shall therefore be careful.
Unfortunately, there are no other solutions at this stage. Agree a repayment plan will not allow to suspend the effects of the garnishment because suspending the garnishment would prejudice all the creditors.
The sole solution consists in clearing all your files.
If you don’t agree with the distribution draft, i.e. if you consider that one or more amounts included in the draft are incorrect, you shall contact the office within the time period available to make an objection, i.e. within 15 days (after that deadline, it is too late and the draft will have become definitive).
You should know that the judicial officer bases in principle on the claim statements he has received and that it is impossible for him to check these.
If applicable, you can transmit your remarks or contestations to the judicial officer in charge of the distribution who will examine them and possibly contact your creditors in order to find an amicable solution to the objection.
If no amicable solution can be found, the file will be forwarded to the attachment judge in order he would settle the dispute.