Washington State Garnishment Moratorium (Governor’s Proclamation No. 20-49)
Posted Apr 16, 2020
By Washington State Litigation and Business Law Lawyer Todd J. Cook
On April 14, 2020, Washington Governor Jay Inslee issued Proclamation 20-49 titled “Garnishment and Accrual of Interest” (the “Garnishment Proclamation”). In the Garnishment Proclamation, Governor Inslee finds that “a state of emergency continues to exist in all counties of Washington State.” The Governor further finds that “a temporary moratorium on garnishment of wages and other income to collect judgments for consumer debt throughout Washington State at this time will help reduce economic hardship and related life, health, and safety risks to those members of our workforce impacted by layoffs and substantially reduced work hours or who are otherwise unable to pay for basic household expenses as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.” As a result, pursuant to RCW 43.06.220(2)(g), Governor Inslee has waived and suspended in their entirety the following statutory provisions under 11:59 PM on May 14, 2020:
- RCW 6.27.020(1) and (2) – regarding issuance of writs of garnishment in the Superior Court and District Court;
- RCW 6.27.060 – regarding the process for applying for a writ of garnishment;
- RCW 6.27.070(1) – regarding issuance of a writ of garnishment following application;
- RCW 6.27.080(2) and (3) – regarding form and service of a writ of garnishment directed to a financial institution;
- RCW 6.27.110(1) and (2) – regarding service of a writ of garnishment;
- RCW 6.27.120(1) – regarding the effect of service of a writ of garnishment;
- RCW 6.27.130(1) and (3) – regarding mailing and service of writ of garnishment to a judgment debtor; and
- RCW 4.56.110(1) and (5) – regarding interest on judgments.
To help “preserve and maintain life, health, property or the public peace,” until 11:59 PM on March 144, 2020, Governor Inslee has further prohibited the “waivers and suspensions listed above from being applied to any judgment creditor, directly or through others acting on their behalf, except for the garnishment of wages and other income to collect judgments for consumer debt as defined in RCW 6.01.06)2(, and for the accrual of post-judgment interest on judgments for consumer debt.”
For additional web resources regarding Governor Inslee’s COVID-19 Proclamations, please see my April 13, 2020 blog entry, Understanding Governor Inslee’s COVID-19 Proclamations and Guidance.
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