Garnish: A separate legal process by which someone with a judgment begins to take some of your wages. They file garnishment proceedings upon your employer, and your employer must follow very specific rules regarding how much of your wages they can give the debt collector. In the county in which I live, the Sheriff’s office in the courthouse building has information regarding the laws of how much can be taken from you, and I would guess that most jurisdictions are similar. Or go to the State Law Digest. Notice that in order to garnish your wages, the debt collector must first obtain a judgment—so any claim by a debt collector that he will “garnish your wages” is deceptive unless there is already a judgment against you. Do not be intimidated. The making of the threat may constitute a violation of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. Not all funds are subject to garnishment or attachment, notably certain pension or disability funds. If your source of income is some sort of state or federal aid, it is likely also not subject to attachment or garnishment.