By Stephen J. Muhonen, Creditor’s Rights / Collections Attorney, Racine Olson, PLLP
I had an interesting collections issue arise the other day that is worth discussing. A self-represented judgment creditor was attempting to garnish a judgment debtor’s wages. The judgment creditor had repeatedly served a Writ of Continuing Garnishment on the judgment debtor’s employer, just to have the writ returned each time, unsatisfied. The judgment creditor was naturally frustrated because they had expended a considerable amount of emotional energy, time, effort and expense in the repeated attempts to collect upon the judgment; all for naught.
As I listened and the related facts unfolded, the reason as to why the Writ of Continuing Garnishment was not being accepted became apparent. There were two problems. One (1), the judgment debtor was not an employee, but rather, an independent contractor. Two (2), because the judgment debtor was an independent contractor, a Writ of Continuous Garnishment was the improper mechanism to garnish the amounts due to the independent contractor, from the independent contractor’s creditor.