Colo. Rev. Stat. § 13-54-104. Restrictions on garnishment and levy under execution or attachment

(1) As used in this section, unless the context otherwise requires:

(a) "Disposable earnings" means that part of the earnings of any individual remaining after the deduction from those earnings of any amounts required by law to be withheld and after the deduction of the cost of any health insurance provided by the individual pursuant to section 14-14-112, C.R.S. In the case of an order for the support of a spouse, former spouse, or dependent child, "disposable earnings" includes moneys voluntarily deposited in tax-deferred compensation funds.

(b) (I) "Earnings" means:

(A) Compensation paid or payable to an individual employee or independent contractor for personal labor or services;

(B) Funds held in or payable from any health, accident, or disability insurance.

(II) For the purposes of writs of garnishment that are the result of a judgment taken for arrearages for child support or for child support debt, for restitution for the theft, embezzlement, misappropriation, or wrongful conversion of public property, or in the event of a judgment for a willful and intentional violation of fiduciary duties to a public pension plan where the offender or a related party received direct financial gain, "earnings" also means:

(A) Workers' compensation benefits;

(B) Any pension or retirement benefits or payments, including but not limited to those paid pursuant to articles 51, 54, 54.5, and 54.6 of title 24, C.R.S., and articles 30.5 and 31 of title 31, C.R.S.;

(C) Dividends, severance pay, royalties, monetary gifts, monetary prizes, excluding lottery winnings not required by the rules of the Colorado lottery commission to be paid only at the lottery office, taxable distributions from general partnerships, limited partnerships, closely held corporations, or limited liability companies, interest, trust income, annuities, capital gains, or rents;

(D) Any funds held in or payable from any health, accident, disability, or casualty insurance to the extent that such insurance replaces wages or provides income in lieu of wages; and

(E) Tips declared by the individual for purposes of reporting to the federal internal revenue service or tips imputed to bring the employee's gross earnings to the minimum wage for the number of hours worked, whichever is greater.

(III) For the purposes of writs of garnishment issued by the state agency responsible for administering the state medical assistance program, which writs are issued as a result of a judgment for medical support for child support or for medical support debt, "earnings" includes:

(A) Payments received from a third party to cover the health care cost of the child but which payments have not been applied to cover the child's health care costs;

(A.5) Unemployment insurance benefits; and

(B) State tax refunds.

(IV) For the purposes of writs of garnishment issued by a county department of social services responsible for administering the state public assistance programs, which writs are issued as a result of a judgment for a debt for fraudulently obtained public assistance, fraudulently obtained overpayments of public assistance, or excess public assistance paid for which the recipient was ineligible, "earnings" shall include workers' compensation benefits.

(V) For the purposes of attachments of earnings or writs of garnishment that are the result of a judgment taken for court assessments including fines, fees, costs, restitution, and surcharges pursuant to section 16-11-101.6 or section 16-18.5-105, C.R.S., "earnings" also means those enumerated under subparagraph (I) of this paragraph (b).

(1.1) Repealed.

(2) (a) Except as provided in subsection (3) of this section, the maximum part of the aggregate disposable earnings of an individual for any workweek which is subjected to garnishment or levy under execution or attachment may not exceed:

(I) For debts other than debts under subparagraph (II) of this paragraph (a), the lesser of:

(A) Twenty-five percent of the individual's disposable earnings for that week; or

(B) The amount by which the individual's disposable earnings for that week exceed thirty times the federal minimum hourly wage prescribed by section 206 (a) (1) of title 29 of the United States Code in effect at the time the earnings are payable; or

(C) The amount by which the individual's disposable earnings for that week exceed thirty times the state minimum hourly wage pursuant to section 15 of article XVIII of the state constitution in effect at the time the earnings are payable;

(II) For debts for fraudulently obtained public assistance or fraudulently obtained overpayments collected pursuant to section 26-2-128 (1) (a), C.R.S., the lesser of:

(A) Thirty-five percent of the individual's disposable earnings for that week; or

(B) The amount by which the individual's disposable earnings for that week exceed thirty times the federal minimum hourly wage prescribed by section 206 (a) (1) of title 29 of the United States Code in effect at the time the earnings are payable; or

(C) The amount by which the individual's disposable earnings for that week exceed thirty times the state minimum hourly wage pursuant to section 15 of article XVIII of the state constitution in effect at the time the earnings are payable.

(b) In the case of earnings for any pay period other than a week, a multiple of the federal minimum hourly wage or the state minimum hourly wage, equivalent in effect to that set forth in paragraph (a) of this subsection (2) shall be used.

(3) (a) The restrictions of subsection (2) of this section do not apply in the case of:

(I) Any order for the support of any person issued by a court of competent jurisdiction or in accordance with an administrative procedure which is established by state law, which affords substantial due process, and which is subject to judicial review;

(II) Any order of any court of the United States having jurisdiction over cases under chapter 13 of title 11 of the United States Code, the federal bankruptcy code of 1978;

(III) Any debt due for any state or federal tax.

(b) (I) The maximum part of the aggregate disposable earnings of an individual for any workweek which is subject to garnishment or levy under execution or attachment to enforce any order for the support of any person shall not exceed:

(A) Where such individual is supporting his spouse or dependent child, other than a spouse or child with respect to whose support such order is used, fifty percent of such individual's disposable earnings for that week; and

(B) Where such individual is not supporting a spouse or dependent child as described in sub-subparagraph (A) of this subparagraph (I), sixty percent of such individual's disposable earnings for that week.

(II) With respect to the disposable earnings of any individual for any workweek, the fifty percent specified in sub-subparagraph (A) of subparagraph (I) of this paragraph (b) shall be deemed to be fifty-five percent, and the sixty percent specified in sub-subparagraph (B) of subparagraph (I) of this paragraph (b) shall be deemed to be sixty-five percent if and to the extent that such earnings are subject to garnishment or wage assignment or income assignment or levy under execution or attachment to enforce a support order with respect to a period that is prior to the twelve-week period that ends with the beginning of such workweek.

(III) Notwithstanding the maximum part of the aggregate disposable earnings of an individual which is subject to garnishment as provided in this paragraph (b), a debtor who is totally and permanently disabled and who establishes that at least seventy-five percent of his income is derived from any disability income or benefits may object to the amount of the aggregate disposable earnings subject to garnishment under this paragraph (b). The court, upon consideration of the circumstances of the parties, may provide for garnishment in an amount less than such maximum amounts.

(4) The restrictions established by this section shall be adhered to whether or not the employer of the debtor is subject to garnishee process.

HISTORY: Source: L. 59: p. 532, § 4.CRS 53: § 77-13-4. C.R.S. 1963: § 77-2-4.L. 71: p. 853, § 2.L. 79: Entire section R&RE, p. 623, § 1, effective May 31.L. 80: (1)(b) amended, p. 613, § 2, effective April 10; (3)(a)(II) amended, p. 785, § 11, effective June 5.L. 85: (3)(b)(II) amended, p. 590, § 5, effective July 1.L. 87: (1)(b) amended, p. 595, § 22, effective July 10.L. 88: (1.1) added, p. 609, § 1, effective April 14; (3)(b)(III) added, p. 611, § 3, effective July 1.L. 90: (1)(b) amended, p. 564, § 32, effective July 1.L. 91: (1)(b) amended and (1.1) repealed, pp. 383, 384, § § 3, 4, effective May 1.L. 92: (1)(b) amended, p. 577, § 3, effective July 1; (1)(a) amended, p. 172, § 5, effective August 1.L. 93: (1)(b)(II) amended, p. 1871, § 3, effective June 6.L. 94: (1)(a) and (1)(b)(I)(A) amended, p. 1535, § 2, effective May 31; (1)(b)(II) amended, p. 2048, § 7, effective June 3; (1)(b) amended, p. 1594, § 3, effective July 1; (1)(b)(II) amended, p. 1252, § 4, effective July 1; (2)(a) amended, p. 2061, § 2, effective July 1.L. 96: (1)(b) and (3)(b)(II) amended, p. 590, § 1, effective July 1.L. 98: (1)(b)(II)(B) amended, p. 920 § 5, effective July 1.L. 99: (1)(b)(II)(B) amended, p. 620, § 13, effective August 4.L. 2005: IP(1)(b)(II) and (1)(b)(II)(B) amended, p. 71, § 1, effective August 8.L. 2006: (1)(b)(IV) added, p. 948, § 4, effective August 7.L. 2007: (2) amended, p. 877, § 5, effective July 1.L. 2009: (1)(b)(II)(B) amended, (SB 09-066), ch. 73, p. 259, § 23, effective July 1; (1)(b)(II)(B) amended, (SB 09-282), ch. 288, p. 1396, § 57, effective January 1, 2010.L. 2012: (1)(b)(V) added, (HB 12-1310), ch. 268, p. 1392, § 2, effective June 7.L. 2015: (1)(b)(I)(A) and (1)(b)(II)(C) amended, (SB 15-283), ch. 301, p. 1239, § 3, effective July 1.

C.R.S. 13-54-104