Wage garnishment in New Brunswick is now being allowed, thanks to a new Act from the provincial government. New Brunswick is joining the rest of the provinces in terms of debt collection with the implementation of the new Enforcement of Money Judgments Act (EMJA), which officially came into force on December 1, 2019.
One of the major regulations to come out of the Act gives creditors in New Brunswick the ability to garnish debtors directly through their employers. Wage garnishment is legal in every province across Canada but has not been allowed in New Brunswick for over 40 years. Wage garnishment is a legal order that allows creditors to get hold of a certain percentage of debtor’s monthly income directly from their pay. This means that creditors are now permitted to reach out to employers directly to have them set up the garnishment.
Wage garnishment in Canada most commonly occurs among people who do not have any equity or assets worthy being seized for the recovery of debts.
“We knew that the implementation of this Act was inevitable, but there are many consumers who aren’t aware that their wages can now be garnished in the province of New Brunswick,” said John Eisner, President of Credit Counselling Services of Atlantic Canada. “This Act will have major implications for consumers that owe money, especially those who are on a low income, which is why we worked closely with the provincial government for the past six years to help guide the legislation and ensure that the new regulations are fair and considerate to both the debtor and the creditor.”
Some of the key regulations that came out of the Act were:
- Registered Retirement Savings Plans will be totally exempt from seizure.
- The Sheriff, who will be administering the act, will examine the debtor’s income and expenses before determining the amount that can be seized. This will ensure that debtors are left with enough income to maintain a certain lifestyle.
- A sunset clause will limit the time a person can be garnisheed to five years. Beyond this time, the creditor will have to re-apply before the courts to have it extended.
“This Act has been put into effect during a busy time of year, and we will surely see the repercussions as consumers begin to open their post-holiday credit card bills,” said Eisner. “We encourage anyone who is having financial problems to contact us now so we may help prevent them from having their wages possibly garnished.”
If you feel that you might need help with debt, contact us for an appointment.