Garnishment of wages

Also known as: Garnishment of salary

Die Lohnpfändung ist eine foreclosure des Arbeitsentgelts (Lohn) eines Schuldners, welche gesetzlich gemäß §850 bis 850k ZPO geregelt ist.

Explanation / definition

The garnishment of wages is a so-called foreclosure of a debtor's wages, which is intended to service the claims of the creditors. If, in the event of a corresponding conviction, a debtor is unable to pay the required amount of the debt on time, the creditor can obtain an attachment and transfer order through the court.

The attachment and transfer order constitutes an order for payment by a third party, in this case by the employee's employer.

Wage garnishment options

To ensure that the debtor's subsistence level is still guaranteed despite the attachment, only part of the wages can be attached by the creditor.

The garnishable part of the wages is to be calculated according to the currently valid garnishment table. The garnishment table enables staggered garnishment of wages and is adjusted every 2 years to reflect the rising cost of living.

The amount of the attachable amount is primarily determined by the amount of the monthly net income and the number of dependent persons for whom the debtor has to pay. Certain parts of the wages are also non-attachable and are therefore not added to the net wage.

No simultaneous garnishment of wages

In the event that two creditors assert an attachment and transfer order against the same employer, the claims will not be satisfied at the same time. Since no double garnishment is permitted for the earned income, the creditors are served one after the other.

A garnishment of the account in addition to the garnishment of wages is possible, however, in this case the debtor must submit a release of his garnishment-free wage portion to the court responsible for him in good time, otherwise a garnishment of the wages after receipt on his account is still possible, provided the incoming wages are above the garnishment exemption limit of the account is.

The debtor and his family are protected by law from a complete seizure of the wages by the seizure exemption limits.


  • Attachment of wages is a foreclosure of a debtor's wages
  • The amount of the garnishable wages is determined by the garnishment table
  • no double seizure of earned income is permitted
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