Collecting Commercial Debt from a Military Member
It is Department of Defense (DoD) policy that military members pay their just financial obligations in a proper and timely manner. Creditors who have been awarded a civil judgment against a military member may seek enforcement of the judgment by applying for an involuntary allotment from the member's military pay. Applications for involuntary allotments cannot be based on garnishments.
If approved, the allotment can pay up to a maximum of 25 percent of the member's disposable pay per monthly pay period. (Note: not all pay that a military member receives is subject to involuntary allotment. A complete listing of pay subject to involuntary allotment and pay excluded from involuntary allotment is contained in the DoD FMR Volume 7a, Chapter 41, Section 4105.
How to Apply for an Involuntary Allotment
If you are new to this procedure, please review the regulation DoD FMR Volume 7a, Chapter 41, Section 4105 before applying for an involuntary allotment.
A creditor may initiate this process against a military member by submitting an Involuntary Allotment Application (DD Form 2653) along with a certified copy of a final judgment issued by a civil court. A judge, not the clerk of the court, must sign the final judgment. We must be served with an original and two copies of both the form and the judgment. Also, the application must contain the member's full name and social security number for positive identification. Send the completed package to the following address:
Garnishment Law Directorate
P.O. Box 998002
Cleveland OH 44199-8002
Toll Free Customer Service: 1-888-DFAS411 (1-888-332-7411)
You can request a hard copy of the DD Form 2653 by writing the address above or by calling 888-332-7411.
Because the regulation mandates that military members be allowed 90 days notice before payments can begin, payments start 90 to 120 days after we received the complete application. We are the only authorized agent for service of these applications for all branches of the military services (except the U.S. Coast Guard). We will return applications sent to any other address without action.
Post-judgment interest is payable under the regulation but it must be awarded in the judgment. Creditors who submit judgments from jurisdictions where post-judgment interest is statutory should submit copies of the statute that authorizes the interest along with their application.
Maximum Involuntary Allotment Amount
The maximum amount that may be withheld from individual's pay for garnishments or other legal process to satisfy commercial debts is 25 percent of the individual's disposable pay. Disposable pay is the gross pay minus certain authorized deductions, such as income tax withholding or debts owed to the government.
If the member already has other involuntary allotments in place, applicants will have to reapply when that debt is satisfied. Also, if deductions are being made to satisfy child or spousal support obligations, it is possible there will be no funds available to satisfy commercial debts for many years to come. In this case, we will notify creditors of the status.
For questions concerning the Involuntary Allotments process, please call 888-332-7411.
Page updated September 24, 2020