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how it works and how to calculate

Every year, many people are subject to salary garnishment for not paying their debts. Find out what this measure entails.

THE maturity attachment it is a form of debt collection that means that every month a part of the salary is delivered to the creditor. There are, however, some limits to this coercive debt collection.

The measure can be triggered both in the context of a debt to the State or to a private creditor and comes when practically all forms of agreement have been exhausted. Seizure of goods obeys several rules and, being almost the last resort for collection, can be avoided by resorting, for example, to payment agreements or measures such as payment in lieu of payment.

It is not possible to avoid it, and if you are subject to an attachment of salary, know what you can count on.

What are the rules for the due date?

Even if your salary is pledged, you will always have to keep part of your salary. So, only one third of the salary can be seized and the worker must keep an amount equivalent to the national minimum wage. That is, 760 euros in 2023.

However, if you are the subject of a wage attachment, you cannot keep more than three minimum wages (2,280 euros in 2023).

The pledge applies to the salary received, including bonuses, food subsidy, holidays and Christmas. The value to be taken into account corresponds to the net salary. That is, what you receive after deducting for the IRS and Social Security.

If there is an excess of attachment, that is, if the attachment is greater than what the law allows, the debtor may resort to opposing the attachment to defend himself.

Child support debt is an exception

There is, however, an exception to the unseizability limits that you should take into account. When a maintenance debt is in question, only the amount equivalent to the entire social pension of the non-contributory regime is unseizable. That is, 224.24 euros in 2023.

How do you pay wages?

A notification is made to the employer so that they deduct the amount corresponding to the payment of the attachment from their salary. This amount is deposited in a bank account to the order of the enforcement agent. This amount must remain deposited until the deadline for opposition to the seizure expires.

At the end of this period, and if there is no opposition, the enforcement agent delivers the amount to the creditor (creditor) and notifies the paying entity to deliver future installments directly to the creditor.

What are the exceptions?

There are some situations in which those who are in default cannot be subject to a process for attachment of maturity. For example, if you receive the minimum wage or a lower amount, you are exemptsince the attachment percentage only applies to the amount exceeding the national minimum wage.

who works in part time is not pawnedand the process ends due to impossibility of collection. The same goes for unemployment. (since there is no income) or if there is a declaration of insolvency.

If the person in debt emigrates and you do not have income in Portugal, it is not possible to charge abroad.

How to calculate the due date?

The salary attachment is calculated based on the net salary, that is, the salary after the mandatory deductions by law.

To determine the maturity value, from which the amount to be pledged will be calculated, all salary installments are counted.

calculation formula

  • Calculate the net salary;
  • Multiply the net maturity by 1/3 and you get the pledgeable amount;
  • Multiply the net salary by 2/3 and you get the unseizable amount;
  • Confirm that the unseizable amount is equal to or greater than the national minimum wage and less than or equal to three national minimum wages.

After calculating the amount of the maturity pledge, this amount will be deducted monthly until the debt is fully paid. To do a simulation, you can visit the simulator of the College of Specialty of Enforcement Agents.

Article originally published in July 2019. Last updated in February 2023.

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