Can creditors garnish your wages in South Carolina? The answer is NO with a few caveats. In most states, creditors can obtain a civil judgment against the debtor and then garnish their wages. In our sister state of Georgia, if you have failed to pay on your credit card, the credit card could obtain a judgment and then start garnishing your wages. In South Carolina, we are one of the few states in the country that does not allow wage garnishment. SCCL 37-5-104. http://www.scstatehouse.gov/code/t37c005.php.
Now, for the exceptions. The statute does not apply to the government. The IRS and Federal student loans can still garnish your wages. In addition, it does not apply to child support. Finally, South Carolina has a statute that protects medical providers called the GEAR PROGRAM which allows hospitals to garnish only South Carolina tax refunds. http://www.sctax.org/NR/rdonlyres/5B96487C-6CB6-4E2D-BBFB-1EA9996EE6F8/0/Rpb022.pdf
One final note, there does appear to be an issue about creditors being able to garnish South Carolina residents wages if they are living in South Carolina but working out-of-state. Also, some creditors argue that if the judgement was filed before the person moved to South Carolina, they can continue to garnish. Hopefully, some of these caveats will be cleared up by the South Carolina Courts at some point.
Additional Blogs on this issue: http://www.sc-bankruptcy-blog.com/wage-garnishment-in-south-carolina-not/2010/04