My PFD Was Garnished for Unknown Reasons, and I Want It Back. What Do I Do?

Authored By: Alaska Legal Services

Your PFD can only be garnished to pay a child support debt, a tax debt, or a court judgment.

Chances are, if your PFD was garnished, you have one of these outstanding obligations.

Creditors can only garnish your PFD if they have been to court first and have won a judgment against you. The notice from the PFD Office should tell you where your money went. If it went for child support, it will probably say that it went to CSSD or another state's support collection agency. If there is a court case number (example: 1JU-05-123 CI), then that means a creditor went to court and got a judgment against you. If you don't know what the judgment was for you can go to the courthouse and ask a clerk for a copy of the court case and see who sued you and why.
A faster way to potentially find out who is garnishing your PFD by checking a spreadsheet of PFD garnishments that the Alaska Court System posts every year. The spreadsheets are organized by the last name of the person who’s PFD was garnished. 

If your bank account gets swept by a creditor and they take your child’s or childrens’ PFDs, or if you think they garnished too much, then you can file an claim for exemption with the Court and information on how to do that can be found in the Judgment Debtor Handbook at the Alaska Court System’s website. You must file a claim of exemption within 15 days of your money being taken so don’t delay. 

Last Review and Update: Sep 26, 2023
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