Wage garnishment is a non-bankruptcy legal proceeding whereby a plaintiff or creditor seeks to subject to his or her claim the future wages of a debtor. In other words, the creditor seeks to have part of the debtor's future wages paid to the creditor for a debt owed to the creditor.
Wage garnishment is legal in every state for child support, alimony (in states where alimony is allowed) and income tax repayment. However, for private debts some states (e.g. Texas) do not permit wage garnishment.