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When I received my paycheck today, I discovered that unemployment garnished my wages for almost $200. This is for an overpayment in benefits from back in 2005. I owe just over $4,000, and can not afford to pay them almost $400 a month. Is there anything I can do besides file for bankruptcy? I was not served any papers, and did not receive any letters.

Thanks ahead of time.

Usually you are informed by some means prior to the garnishement, but I think the govenment may have a different set of rules. This happenned to me with the IRS, but they were kind enough to send me a letter first.

Sorry, as this probably doesnt help much, so try to remain calm and I am sure someone much smarter than me will be along shortly. This is a great forum and they give great advice. :D

Sub: #1 posted on Sat, 01/10/2009 - 06:46

VirtualPDLFighter VirtualPDLFighter

(Posts: 7 | Credits: )

I didn't realize they could do this, I thought they took it off your tax returns... I will be sure to pass on that information to someone I know...

Sub: #2 posted on Sat, 01/10/2009 - 09:07

kabrosam kabrosam

(Posts: 15 | Credits: )

Dont think it is eligible for bankruptcy either....public debt.

Sub: #3 posted on Sat, 01/10/2009 - 09:54

Moderators Cum Industry Expert
(Posts: 17310 | Credits: )

You may have been able to drum up a payment plan prior to all this, but at this point I don't believe there's anything that can be done. I would call unemployment anyways and see if there's anything that can be done

Sub: #4 posted on Sat, 01/10/2009 - 10:03


I have the same problem with owing unemployment--but you cannot write it off in a bankruptcy--this has to be paid. I have talked to my lawyer about it already.Call them and see if you can maybe set up a plan where you may not have to pay as much--it never hurts to ask.

Sub: #5 posted on Thu, 01/15/2009 - 23:00

sherrill423 sherrill423

(Posts: 4 | Credits: )

Usually governmental bodies have different sets of rules than creditors in general. For example, the IRS doesn't need to get a court order to garnish your wages, they just go in and do it.

Unemployment probably falls under that sort of privilege. All they may be required to do is send you a notice by mail, and if you didn't pay by a certain date then they can automatically start a garnishment.

Unfortunately most government debts also fall outside of bankruptcy. So I don't think filing BK will eliminate it.

The most you can probably do is call the unemployment office and see if they'll setup payment arrangements instead of the garnishment.

Sub: #6 posted on Fri, 01/16/2009 - 17:33

DebtCruncher DebtCruncher
(Posts: 2296 | Credits: )

lhaefs,are you sure this isn't the restitution part of it? I know the resitution part they will take once you start claiming again, even if you paid them what you owed them for overpayment, through paying with your states tax refund etc.

This part of the repayment has to be made through your unemployment checks if I remember correctly.

As you discovered, you will not get a letter regarding the resitiution portion, they will automatically start taking once you file and are approved again. Though to be sure, I'd still contact them.

Sub: #7 posted on Tue, 01/20/2009 - 09:25

beli2005 beli2005

(Posts: 882 | Credits: )

can an overpayment of unemployment be taken out of your federal income taxes

Sub: #8 posted on Wed, 01/28/2009 - 23:12


Each state is different on how they handle overpayment. I know for my state, since we have state income tax, my overpayment came out of that, and that was only after not contacting them to make payment arrangements. So contact your unemployment office and see how they handle it. Or you may be able to find the information on their online website.

wanted to add that it should've also said in your unemployment handbook that you got from your state as to how they handle over payments.

Sub: #9 posted on Thu, 01/29/2009 - 06:14

beli2005 beli2005

(Posts: 882 | Credits: )

I live in PA. My state, as well, handles 'overpayments', of any kind, through your Tax Refunds. I din't think they could take ANYTHING out of Unemployment, since this is a 'temporary' wage.

Sub: #10 posted on Thu, 01/29/2009 - 08:17

sdchargers_63 sdchargers_63

(Posts: 1798 | Credits: )

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