How Does Garnishment Work in Washington?
Your employer is sent a document called “Writ of Garnishment, continuing lien on earnings,” along with a document called “Answer to Writ of Garnishment.” Your employer fills out the First Answer and returns it to the court with a copy to you and the creditor. From this point on, they withhold the non-exempt earnings for 60 days.
At the end of the 60-day withholding period, the employer is supposed to respond to a document called “Second Answer.” This document tells the creditor what non-exempt earnings were deducted during the 60-day period. The employer must complete the second answer and mail it to the court, the employee, and the creditor.
Next, the employer receives a document called “Judgment on Answer and Order to Pay.” This is the document that tells the employer who they are supposed to pay. Your employer should not have sent any money to the creditor prior to this, although this does happen.
A “Writ of Garnishment” under Washington Law allows a creditor a lien on your non-exempt earnings for 60-day periods. They can get additional writs for additional 60-day periods.