Boring Details

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Michigan Garnishment – Periodic Payments

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Legal research is a game of back and forth searching here and there. For example, MCL §600.4012(1) provides, in part, ” . . . . a writ of garnishment of periodic payments remains in effect for the period prescribed by the Michigan court rules.”

Michigan Garnishment LawThis, of course, requires looking to the Michigan Court Rules (MCR), which can be found here.

Searching  in Chapter Three of the MCR, relating to special proceedings, we find Rule 3.101, Garnishment After Judgment, in part (A)(4) “periodic payments” are defined to include,

” . . . . wages, salary, commissions, bonuses, and other income paid to the defendant during the period of the writ; land contract payments; rent; and other periodic debt or contract payments. Interest payments and other payments listed in MCL 600.4012(4)(a)-(d) are not periodic payments.”

(You are welcome to look up MCL 600.4012(4)(a)-(d) yourself to learn what else in not a periodic payment.)

MCR 3.101(B)(1)(a) goes on to say, basically,  that a garnishment of periodic payments (like a wage garnishment) continues until the debt is paid in full or 182 days have passed, whichever happens first.

There you have it. Mystery solved. Maybe. Just when you think you understand what’s going on, there is always a weird little twist or exception that pops up. Best practice requires reading all the Michigan appellate court opinions relating to this issue. Very frequently one can read a statute or a court rule and think it is understood, only later to discover the higher courts don’t see it that way at all.


A Guide to Periodic Payment Garnishment – Michigan Legal Aid

A Guide to Garnishment of Periodic Payments – Michigan Courts (PDF)


Written by Tom Fox

March 1, 2014 at 9:52 am

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