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REALITY CHECK: Big win for the working poor

(wpmi) A 2015 court ruling had allowed companies to take up to a quarter of people's paycheck, even if they made very little money. This latest ruling stops that.

The Alabama Court of Civil Appeals has ruled to protect people's paychecks from wage garnishment.. A 2015 court ruling had allowed companies to take up to a quarter of people's paycheck, even if they made very little money. This latest ruling stops that.

Credit Acceptance was garnishing 25% of the wages of two Mobile women, after they defaulted on high interest car loans. But the women, one a single mother, the other a grandmother with custody of a grandchild, were only netting $500 in their bi-weekly checks.

"No one can live like that. They were subsisting at the poverty level, or below the poverty level," said Legal Services Alabama attorney Sherri Thomas.

Legal Services Alabama stepped in and fought the garnishment. Friday, the Alabama Court of Civil Appeals sided in their favor, ruling people who make less than $1,000 per paycheck cannot have their wages garnished.

"It will have a huge impact on the working poor, and working poor families across the state because basically now, they have a right to protect their wages, and they don't have to face 25% of their wages being garnished," said Thomas.

Thomas says after that 2015 ruling, their wage garnishment cases doubled.

If you're a low-income family facing wage garnishment or another civil law issue, you can reach out to Legal Services Alabama for help: 1-866-456-4995

Or apply online here.

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