Saber Acceptance Co. v. Curran

Full title: SABER ACCEPTANCE CO., L.L.C., Plaintiff/Appellant, v. Matthew A. CURRAN…

Court: Court of Civil Appeals of Oklahoma, Division No. 1.

Date published: Jul 11, 2014

Fact:

  • Saber Acceptance Co., L.L.C. (Creditor) obtained a judgment against Matthew A. Curran (Debtor) and sought to garnish his wages from Spirit Aerosystems, Inc. (Garnishee).
  • Garnishee responded by asserting that Debtor’s wages were subject to a prior income assignment for child support and that there were no available wages for garnishment.
  • Creditor disagreed and claimed that there were available wages for garnishment based on its calculation.
  • The dispute centered around the interpretation and application of Oklahoma statutes, specifically 12 O.S. §§ 1171.2 and 1173.4.

Issue:

  • The main issue is whether Garnishee could withhold Debtor’s wages from Creditor’s garnishment summons, given the prior income assignment for child support.
  • Specifically, the question was whether the 25% limitation in § 1173.4(I)(1) applied when a debtor’s disposable earnings were already subject to an income assignment for child support that exceeded 25% of the disposable earnings.

Decision:

  • The trial court granted Garnishee’s motion for summary judgment and denied Creditor’s motion.
  • The court held that Creditor could not garnish Debtor’s disposable earnings if the amount due to satisfy the child support income assignment met or exceeded 25% of Debtor’s disposable earnings.
  • The appellate court affirmed the trial court’s decision, concluding that the Consumer Credit Protection Act (CCPA) preempted state law in this matter.
  • Since the income assignment for child support absorbed more than 25% of Debtor’s disposable earnings, the CCPA prevented the withholding of any additional sums pursuant to Creditor’s garnishment summons.
  • Therefore, Garnishee was not required to withhold any earnings of Debtor in response to Creditor’s garnishment.

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