Chief Sponsor: Lyle W. Hillyard

House Sponsor: Val K. Potter


8     General Description:
9          This bill modifies the Administrative Services Code by amending provisions relating to
10     the Office of State Debt Collection.
11     Highlighted Provisions:
12          This bill:
13          ▸     amends certain procedures for the Office of State Debt Collection to issue an
14     administrative garnishment order;
15          ▸     amends the types of underlying debts that are eligible for an administrative
16     garnishment order; and
17          ▸     makes technical changes.
18     Money Appropriated in this Bill:
19          None
20     Other Special Clauses:
21          None
22     Utah Code Sections Affected:
23     AMENDS:
24          63A-3-507, as enacted by Laws of Utah 2013, Chapter 69

26     Be it enacted by the Legislature of the state of Utah:
27          Section 1. Section 63A-3-507 is amended to read:

28          63A-3-507. Administrative garnishment order.
29          (1) If a judgment is entered against a debtor, the office may, subject to Subsection (2),
30     issue an administrative garnishment order against the debtor's personal property [and],
31     including wages, in the possession of a [third] party other than the debtor in the same manner
32     and with the same effect as if the order was a writ of garnishment issued [in district] by a court
33     with jurisdiction.
34          (2) The office may issue the administrative garnishment order if the order is:
35          (a) [the order is:] signed by the director or the director's designee; and
36          [(i) signed by the director or the director's designee; and]
37          [(ii) served by certified mail, return receipt requested, or as prescribed by Rule 4, Utah
38     Rules of Civil Procedure; and]
39          (b)[(i)] the underlying debt is for:
40          (i) nonpayment of [restitution as defined in Section 77-38a-102] a criminal judgment
41     accounts receivable as defined in Section 77-32a-101; or
42          (ii) [the underlying debt is for] nonpayment of [an] a judgment, or abstract of judgment
43     or award filed with a court, based on an administrative order for payment issued by [the Labor
44     Commission, established in Section 34A-1-103, for wage claims] an agency of the state.
45          (3) An administrative garnishment order issued in accordance with this section is
46     subject to the procedures and due process protections provided by Rule 64D, Utah Rules of
47     Civil Procedure, except as provided by Section 70C-7-103.
48          (4) An administrative garnishment order issued by the office shall:
49          (a) contain a statement that includes:
50          (i) if known:
51          (A) the nature, location, account number, and estimated value of the property; and
52          (B) the name, address, and phone number of the person holding the property;
53          (ii) whether any of the property consists of earnings;
54          (iii) the amount of the judgment and the amount due on the judgment;
55          (iv) the name, address, and phone number of any person known to the plaintiff to claim
56     an interest in the property; and
57          (v) that the plaintiff has attached or will serve the garnishee fee established in Section
58     78A-2-216;

59          (b) identify the defendant, including:
60          (i) the defendant's name and address; and
61          (ii) if known:
62          (A) the last four digits of the defendant's Social Security number;
63          (B) the last four digits of the defendant's driver license; and
64          (C) the state in which the driver license was issued;
65          (c) include one or more interrogatories inquiring:
66          (i) whether the garnishee is indebted to the defendant and, if so, the nature of the
67     indebtedness;
68          (ii) whether the garnishee possesses or controls any property of the defendant, and, if
69     so, the nature, location, and estimated value of the property;
70          (iii)(A) whether the garnishee knows of any property of the defendant in the possession
71     or under the control of another; and
72          (B) the nature, location, and estimated value of the defendant's property in possession
73     or under the control of another, and the name, address, and phone number of the person with
74     possession or control;
75          (iv) whether the garnishee is deducting a liquidated amount in satisfaction of a claim
76     against the plaintiff or the defendant, a designation as to whom the claim relates, and the
77     amount deducted;
78          (v) the date and manner of the garnishee's service of papers upon the defendant and any
79     third party;
80          (vi) the dates on which previously served writs of continuing garnishment were served,
81     if any; and
82          (vii) any other relevant information the office may request, including the defendant's
83     position, rate, and method of compensation, pay period, or computation of the amount of the
84     defendant's disposable earnings;
85          (d) notify the defendant of the defendant's right to reply to answers and request a
86     hearing as provided by Rule 64D, Utah Rules of Civil Procedure; and
87          (e) state where the garnishee may deliver property.
88          (5)(a) A garnishee who acts in accordance with this section and the administrative
89     garnishment issued by the office is released from liability unless an answer to an interrogatory

90     is successfully controverted.
91          (b) Except as provided in Subsection (5)(c), if the garnishee fails to comply with an
92     administrative garnishment issued by the office without a court or final administrative order
93     directing otherwise, the garnishee is liable to the office for an amount ordered by the court,
94     including:
95          (i) the value of the property or the value of the judgment, whichever is less;
96          (ii) reasonable costs; and
97          (iii) attorney fees incurred by the parties as a result of the garnishee's failure.
98          (c) If the garnishee shows that the steps taken to secure the property were reasonable,
99     the court may excuse the garnishee's liability in whole or in part.
100          (6) A creditor who files a motion for an order to show cause under this section shall
101     attach to the motion a statement that the creditor has in good faith conferred or attempted to
102     confer with the garnishee in an effort to settle the issue without court action.
103          (7) A person is not liable as a garnishee for drawing, accepting, making, or endorsing a
104     negotiable instrument if the instrument is not in the possession or control of the garnishee at
105     the time of service of the administrative garnishment order.
106          (8)(a) A person indebted to the defendant may pay to the office the amount of the debt
107     or an amount to satisfy the administrative garnishment.
108          (b) The office's receipt of an amount described in Subsection (8)(a) discharges the
109     debtor for the amount paid.
110          (9) A garnishee may deduct from the property any liquidated claim against the
111     defendant.
112          (10)(a) If a debt to the garnishee is secured by property, the office:
113          (i) is not required to apply the property to the debt when the office issues the
114     administrative garnishment order; and
115          (ii) may obtain a court order authorizing the office to buy the debt and requiring the
116     garnishee to deliver the property.
117          (b) Notwithstanding Subsection (10)(a)(i):
118          (i) the administrative garnishment order remains in effect; and
119          (ii) the office may apply the property to the debt.
120          (c) The office or a third party may perform an obligation of the defendant and require

121     the garnishee to deliver the property upon completion of performance or, if performance is
122     refused, upon tender of performance if:
123          (i) the obligation is secured by property; and
124          (ii)(A) the obligation does not require the personal performance of the defendant; and
125          (B) a third party may perform the obligation.
126          (11)(a) The office may issue a continuing garnishment order against a nonexempt
127     periodic payment.
128          (b) This section is subject to the Utah Exemptions Act.
129          (c) A continuing garnishment order issued in accordance with this section applies to
130     payments to the defendant from the date of service upon the garnishee until the earlier of the
131     following:
132          (i) the last periodic payment;
133          (ii) the judgment upon which the administrative garnishment order is issued is stayed,
134     vacated, or satisfied in full; or
135          (iii) the office releases the order.
136          (d) No later than seven days after the last day of each payment period, the garnishee
137     shall with respect to that period:
138          (i) answer each interrogatory;
139          (ii) serve an answer to each interrogatory on the office, the defendant, and any other
140     person who has a recorded interest in the property; and
141          (iii) deliver the property to the office.
142          (e) If the office issues a continuing garnishment order during the term of a writ of
143     continuing garnishment issued by the district court, the order issued by the office:
144          (i) is tolled when a writ of garnishment or other income withholding is already in effect
145     and is withholding greater than or equal to the maximum portion of disposable earnings
146     described in Subsection (12);
147          (ii) is collected in the amount of the difference between the maximum portion of
148     disposable earnings described in Subsection (12) and the amount being garnished by an
149     existing writ of continuing garnishment if the maximum portion of disposable earnings exceed
150     the existing writ of garnishment or other income withholding; and
151          (iii) shall take priority upon the termination of the current term of existing writs.

152          (12) The maximum portion of disposable earnings of an individual subject to seizure in
153     accordance with this section is the lesser of:
154          (a) 25% of the defendant's disposable earnings for any other judgment; or
155          (b) the amount by which the defendant's disposable earnings for a pay period exceeds
156     the number of weeks in that pay period multiplied by 30 times the federal minimum wage as
157     provided in 29 U.S.C. Sec. 201 et seq., Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938.
158          (13) The administrative garnishment instituted in accordance with this section shall
159     continue to operate and require that a person withhold the nonexempt portion of earnings at
160     each succeeding earning disbursement interval until the total amount due in the garnishment is
161     withheld or the garnishment is released in writing by the court or office.