How to Stop Wage Garnishment in Ontario

How to Stop Wage Garnishment in Ontario

Wage garnishment can pose a significant financial strain on individuals trying to navigate their way out of debt. In this article, we’ll delve into the details of how to stop wage garnishment in Ontario, providing you with key insights and actionable steps to mitigate this process.

Understanding Wage Garnishment

Broadly, wage garnishment refers to a legal procedure where a portion of an individual’s earnings is withheld by an employer for the payment of a debt. This process can be initiated by any creditor to enforce collection for unpaid debts.

Who Can Initiate Wage Garnishment?

Creditors ranging from collection agencies, the Canada Revenue Agency, credit card companies, payday loan lenders, to any creditor can enforce collection through a wage garnishment.

How Does Wage Garnishment Work?

The garnishment process begins with a creditor filing a Statement of Claim. The debtor (you) has 21 days from the day the claim was mailed to respond. You can dispute the debt, notify the creditor of an error, or if you fail to respond, the court will assume that you have agreed to the debt and the creditor will be granted a Garnishment Order.

Notably, not all creditors need to go to court to obtain a garnishment order. For instance, the Canada Revenue Agency can garnishee wages or seize funds from your bank account without suing you first.

How Much Can Be Garnished from My Wages?

Under the Ontario Wages Act, a creditor can garnishee a maximum of 20% of your gross wages for a debt or 50% for child support.

The Impact of Wage Garnishment

Understanding the consequences of wage garnishment is crucial. This process can affect your financial situation, creating additional stress and making it harder to pay your other bills and meet your daily living expenses.

Strategies on How to Stop Wage Garnishment in Ontario

If you’re facing wage garnishment, it’s essential to take immediate action. Here are some strategies you can employ:

Negotiate with Your Creditor

Before your employer receives a garnishee summons, you should attempt to make a deal with your creditor. This could involve setting up a payment plan or negotiating a settlement.

File a Consumer Proposal

A consumer proposal is a legal process administered by a Licensed Insolvency Trustee (LIT). In this process, you make an offer to your creditors to pay a percentage of what you owe or extend the time you have to pay off the debts.

Declare Bankruptcy

Declaring bankruptcy is a legal process that provides immediate protection from your creditors. It’s generally considered a last resort, but it’s one of the most effective ways to stop wage garnishment.

Seeking Professional Help

If you’re unsure about how to stop wage garnishment in Ontario, you may want to consider seeking professional help. Licensed Insolvency Trustees (LITs) are regulated professionals who provide advice and services to individuals and businesses with financial difficulties.

Contacting a Licensed Insolvency Trustee

LITs can help you explore your debt relief options, including filing a consumer proposal or declaring bankruptcy. They can provide valuable advice tailored to your specific financial situation.

Trustee’s Role in Stopping Wage Garnishment

Upon filing a consumer proposal or bankruptcy, your LIT will issue a ‘stay of proceedings’, which immediately stops most wage garnishments. Creditors cannot continue with or start wage garnishments once a stay of proceedings has been issued.


Facing wage garnishment can be stressful and overwhelming. However, understanding the process and knowing the different strategies on how to stop wage garnishment in Ontario can help you navigate your way out of debt. Whether it’s negotiating with creditors, filing a consumer proposal, or declaring bankruptcy, there are ways to stop wage garnishment and regain control over your financial situation.

Remember, it’s always advisable to seek professional advice before making any significant financial decisions. Licensed Insolvency Trustees can provide you with the guidance and support you need to make the best decision for your circumstances.

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