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DEPARTMENT OF PROFESSIONAL AND FINANCIAL REGULATION
MULTIPLE OF THE STATE OR FEDERAL MINIMUM WAGE
This Rule provides the method for calculating the portion of earnings that are subject to garnishment when an individual is not paid on a weekly basis.
Rule 120, last promulgated in 2005, provides guidance for those seeking to abide by the statutory limitations on garnishment found in the Maine Consumer Code (“the Code”). It is amended following enactment of P.L. 2007, Chapter 7, which changes the standard by which maximum garnishment ratios are computed. Previously, the Code limited garnishment arising from a consumer credit transaction to the lesser of 25% of the individual’s disposable earnings for that week or the amount by which the individual’s disposable earnings for that week exceeded 40 times the federal minimum hourly wage. The new law makes the State minimum hourly wage an alternative to the federal minimum hourly wage in the calculation, requires that comparison with disposable earnings be based on the higher of the State or federal minimum wage, and requires that maximum garnishment for a pay period other than a week be “equivalent in effect” to that for a week.
SECTION 1: Authority
Title 9-A M.R.S.A. § 6-104 permits the Administrator to adopt, amend, and repeal rules to carry out the specific provisions of the Code.
Title 9-A M.R.S.A. §§ 6-103 and 1-301(2) state that except in cases in which a supervised financial organization is the creditor, the Administrator is the Superintendent of the Bureau of Consumer Credit Protection. In cases in which a supervised financial organization is the creditor, the Administrator is the Superintendent of the Bureau of Financial Institutions.
Title 9-B M.R.S.A. § 215 permits the Superintendent of the Bureau of Financial Institutions to implement rules relating to the supervision of financial institutions or their subsidiaries or financial institution holding companies or their subsidiaries.
Title 9-A M.R.S.A. § 5-105(2)(B) requires the Administrator to prescribe by rule a means of calculating the disposable income that is subject to garnishment when an individual is not paid on a weekly basis.
SECTION 2: Purpose
The purpose of this Rule is to amend the previous joint rule to include language changing the method for computing maximum garnishment ratios required by 9-A M.R.S.A. § 5-105(2)(B) as amended by P.L. 2007, Chapter 7.
Both the Bureau of Consumer Credit Protection and the Bureau of Financial Institutions have oversight responsibilities with respect to the Code.
SECTION 3: Definitions
For purposes of this Rule, the following terms have the following meanings:
SECTION 4: General Provisions
EFFECTIVE DATE: December 3, 2007
Last Updated: October 21, 2010
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