As the paying agency for the Department of Defense (DoD), DFAS is responsible for processing commercial garnishments against DoD civilian employees.
DFAS does not charge a fee to the creditor/debt collector for processing income withholding orders for debts.
Federal regulation requires creditors to serve commercial garnishments on us directly as the designated agent for service of process for the employees of the following government agencies:
- Health and Human Services
- Dept of Veterans Affairs employees
- Broadcast Board of Governors
- Department of Energy
Creditors may serve garnishments by mail, fax or personal service. Valid service is not accomplished until the legal process is served on us directly at the following address or fax number:
DFAS Garnishment Law Directorate
P.O. Box 998002
Cleveland OH 44199-8002
Toll-free Phone: 888-DFAS-411 (888-332-7411)
Fax: 877-622-5930 (toll free)
The DFAS Garnishment Directorate uses a fax gateway directly into our Electronic Document Management System. To ensure your document is processed in a timely and efficient manner you must include the following information on the fax document:
- Member/Employee Social Security Number - Court Orders/Documents will not be processed if the SSN is not on the document
- Return phone number
- Return fax number
Please ensure original documents are clear and legible. In each fax transmission, include only correspondence for one member or employee (if you have multiple documents for one member, they can be sent on one fax transmission).
Information to Include with Garnishment
The garnishment must provide sufficient identifying information to enable us to process it. Parties seeking garnishment actions must provide:
- employee’s full name
- employee’s complete social security number
If the information submitted is insufficient to identify the employee, we will return the garnishment with an explanation of the deficiency.
Please include a return address on any correspondence, as well as the mailing envelope. For questions about the commercial garnishment process, please call 888-332-7411.
Time to Process and Challenges
At the time we process the garnishment, we will send the employee notice that a garnishment has been served and a copy of the garnishment. Non-receipt of this notice does not mean that payments cannot be started under the garnishment.
We will respond to a properly served garnishment within thirty (30) calendar days after receipt, or within such longer period as may be prescribed by applicable state or local law.
Any challenge to either the garnishment or the underlying court order must be made in court by the employee or the employee's private attorney. We do not have the authority to represent the employee and will not litigate or otherwise resolve such disputes.
Members of the active duty military are not subject to garnishment for commercial debt; however, their pay can be attached through the military involuntary allotment process. To find out how to attach the pay of an active duty service member, see the Military Commercial Debt Involuntary Allotments pages.
Military retired pay is exempt from garnishment for anything other than child support, spousal support, or a property division under the Uniformed Services Former Spouses' Protection Act. It is exempt from garnishment for the collection of commercial debts.
Page updated Oct. 11, 2018.