Handling schools’ payroll, garnishments, and warrant processing on behalf of districts.
On a weekly basis, MCESA processes about 4,000 warrants (both payroll and payables) and 7,000 direct deposit transactions. MCESA also provides garnishment services to a majority of the school districts in Maricopa County, handling approximately $13 million in garnishment pay warrants in fiscal year 2014.
MCESA provides garnishment services to a majority of the school districts in Maricopa County. This process involves importing pay data, splitting the net amount between the employee and plaintiff, and then issuing new warrants for each. For financial year 2014, MCESA handled approximately $13 million in garnishment pay warrants.
Documents and Resources
- Garnishment Lost/Stale Warrant Instructions for Re-Issue Instructions on what must be done to request a re-issue of a garnishment warrant generated by MCESA.
- Garnishment Lost/Stale Warrant Affidavit Request to reissue a MCESA Garnishment Warrant if the warrant has been lost or has been stale-dated for under one year.
- Request for Hearing Use this form when requesting a hearing to dispute a garnishment handled by MCESA.
- District Responsibilities for Garnishments Information for school districts regarding their responsibilities when garnishments are handled by MCESA.
- School District Garnishment Information Form Submit this form with information regarding new garnishments to be processed by MCESA.
- Board Resolution Sample Sample governing board resolution giving MCESA the authority to process your garnishments.
- Board Resolution Letter MCESA request for an updated governing board resolution.
GARNISHMENT PROCESSING FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
I am a creditor. How do I submit a court order judgment for your district employees?
If the employee works for one of the 51 districts that Maricopa County Education Service Agency handles, please have your process server hand deliver it to:
Maricopa County Education Service Agency (Include the name of the specific School District)
4041 North Central Ave, Suite 1200
Phoenix, AZ 85012
Phone: 602.372.4833 - Option 3 (Garnishment Services)
I am a creditor. What school districts handle their own garnishments?
Seven school districts process their own garnishments. They are as follows:
- Cave Creek Unified District #93
- East Valley Institute of Technology District #401
- Dysart Unified School District #89
- Palo Verde Elementary District #49
- Paradise Valley Unified District #69
- Peoria Unified School District #11
- Phoenix Union High School District #210
I am a creditor. I have a default student loan, bankruptcy order, Social Security Administration and/or a Tax Levy for the employee, how do I start the process of garnishments?
Please forward to the school district that the employee works. Once they received the garnishment and acknowledge your form that the employee is active for their district, they will forward me the documents to start the garnishment. If they are not employed or never work for the school district, they will return your acknowledgement document with the rest of the documents.
I am a creditor. Why did you not accept my court order Writ of Garnishment and Summons?
Maricopa County Education Service Agency may have not have accepted your Writ of Garnishment and Summons due to the following reasons:
- Maricopa County Education Service Agency was not listed in the caption for garnishee.
- The school district name and school district number is not correct in the caption for garnishee.
- The Judgment was not attached with the Writ of Garnishment and Summons.
- The garnishee instruction states to be attached to all documents needed for the garnishment (i.e. Writ of Garnishment and Summon and Judgment is not a complete garnishment.)
- The Writ of Garnishment does not specify the employee who is being summons (i.e. John and Jane Smith are listed as debtor and are both listed as being summons. We need to know the exact employees who is summoned)
- One of the seven school districts that we do not process garnishments for was served to Maricopa County Education Service Agency.
I am a creditor. Why can't my process server write the missing information in the caption for Garnishee?
A process server position is to acknowledge the acceptance of the Writ of Garnishment and Summons. Any information that needs to be changed is the responsibility of the creditor and/or creditor attorney and will need to be amended through the Courts. If it is not amended through the Courts, all correspondences such as Order of Continuing Lien, Quarterly Judgment Reports and/or Releases will not be sent to Maricopa County Education Service Agency.
I am a creditor. Why haven't I received funds that have been withheld?
It may be that Maricopa County Education Service Agency has not received the Order of Continuing Lien signed by the judge or there have been no earnings/low earnings for the employee who is being garnished. Another reason may be that the employee is a nine or ten month employee and does not receive any earnings during the summer session.
I am a creditor. Does Maricopa County keep the garnishment active during the summer?
If it is a Writ of garnishment, the account remains open for the 90 day period as per the garnishee's instructions. If there are no earnings or low earnings for 90 days, then the account will close. You will have to restart the process again. If you have a Defaulted Student Loan or Tax Levy, the account remains open until the garnishment is released.
I am a creditor. Can I verify employment?
Not with the Education Service Agency. Every school district handles their Human Resources and Payroll and the release of information. If a signed written release is required from the employee to verify employment, then you may have to supply the information. MCESA can verify if an employee has an active garnishment.
I am an employee. I just received this packet regarding garnishment, what do I do?
Please read the following information concerning the effects of a garnishment and keep the documents for your records.
Please call the creditor agent if you have any questions concerning:
- Making alternate payment arrangements.
- Your garnishment liability and the amount owed.
- Adjusting the amount due to show payments made other than from your wages.
- Determining an ex-spouse's responsibility for a garnishment.
I am an employee. Does Maricopa County Education Service Agency have the authority to modify or release a garnishment?
Maricopa County Education Service Agency Garnishment Division has no authority to modify or release a garnishment. The creditor agent must make any decisions and adjustments for the plaintiff or the court. Any changes must be written and faxed to 602-372-8589 or emailed to email@example.com.
I am an employee. Can I have direct deposit while on garnishments?
For the duration of the garnishment, all automatic deposits must stop. We must have a release in writing before your payroll department can restore your direct deposit. Maricopa County Education Service Agency cannot accept responsibility if you fail to deposit your own pay warrant until your direct deposit is reinstated. You must inform the Garnishment Division when you wish to have your direct deposit reinstated.
I am an employee. When will I get my check?
Barring delays in receipt of your pay warrant from your school district payroll, the balance of your pay after garnishment is available at the Maricopa County Education Service Agency on Wednesday before your payday. It is your school district’s responsibility to pick up your revised pay warrant from our office. Employees are NOT allowed to pick up their check at this office. You should receive your check on the normal pay day your school district has set.
I am an employee. I have paid my garnishment and the school district will not let me go on direct deposit, why?
We must have the release from the creditor before we can release any garnishment.
I am an employee. Why did I have a zero balance remaining on my check and now I am being garnished again?
The court order states that we must receive a Quarterly Creditor's Report, which verifies if there are any accrued fees and/or additional interest. If a balance remains, it must be added and continue the garnishment. It is the Creditor's responsibility to send you a copy of the same report we receive.
I am an employee. How much will be taken out of my check?
It varies on the type of garnishment. A Court order judgment can be up to 25%. A Defaulted Student Loan and/or a Social Security Administration can be up to 15%, unless otherwise noted. Federal and State tax levy’s have a set table that determine your exemptions. If you do have a tax levy and our office does not receive the exemption form, you are defaulted to Single and One Allowance (Currently $375.00 per pay).
I am an employee. What is the cutoff date to keep my full paycheck?
If you complete your garnishment before Maricopa County Education Service Agency Garnishment Division starts garnishing your wages or make alternate payment arrangement with the garnishing agency, please obtain a written release of garnishment and send it immediately to the Maricopa County Education Service Agency. We MUST receive the release by the Tuesday before your payday in order to release your check in full. It can be faxed to 602.372.8589 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org
I am an employee. I have Child Support payments, Are these considered a deduction from my net pay?
Only court-ordered child support payments made through the Clearing House may be exempt from garnishment.
I am an employee. Is there any option to lower the amount being withheld from my check?
Yes. You have the option of calling the creditor and/or creditor attorney and make payments arrangements. If you are having financial hardship, you can discuss a reduction with the creditor to see if they will lower your amounts. If they are not willing to work with you, you have the option to go to court and see a judge.
I represent the school district. Why is the employee not on the Warrant Extraction List from the prior week?
Each Payroll will be different from payday to payday. An employee will not be on the report as they may have a zero balance. Do not assume that the employee is released. If a creditor has a balance and the district reinstates direct deposit, the district will be liable for the judgment. Please use the current Warrant Extraction Report that is sent to your district.
I represent the school district. What is the procedure for Lost Warrants of a garnished employee?
Please contact the garnishment service desk. Information about the lost warrant will be requested and your main payroll contact person will receive an Affidavit. Please have the employee sign and notarize the Affidavit. Return the Original Affidavit to MCESA which the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors must approve. Please be patient as it can take up to 3 weeks to get the Approved Affidavit allowing the reissuing of the lost warrant.
I represent the school district. What is the cut off time for checks to be sent to process garnishments? (Pilot District Question)
The cut off time is on Tuesday at 11 a.m., payroll week. Please fax, email, import or have the physical check at the Office of the Maricopa County School Superintendent before the cutoff time. It is imperative that the checks arrive by this time for audit purposes. Any district checks arriving after this time will be processed on the following week which will delay your employees receiving their paycheck.
I represent the school district. When can I reinstate the employee’s direct deposit?
Once the release from the creditor is received, a release notification is e-mailed to the main contact person at your district. If you want to see if an employee is released, you can call or email the garnishment desk.
I represent the school district. I keep getting calls about employment verification, what is the procedure?
If your district does not require a signed written release from the employee, then you should go ahead and verify employment. If your district requires a signed written release, let the creditor know the policy and procedures for your district. If the creditor needs any other information, please forward them to MCESA for assistance.
I represent the school district. What time can the courier pick up checks?
Revised warrants are ready on Wednesday’s at 1:00pm. On weeks with a Monday holiday, warrants are available on Thursday at 1 p.m.
I represent the school district. Due to the holiday schedule, can we send self- addressed stamped envelopes for the garnished employees?
Unfortunately, the Office of the Maricopa County School Superintendent will no longer mail out checks during any holiday schedule. Please make other arrangements for picking up your garnished employees checks.
We strive to expedite the processing and distribution of expense payments for Maricopa County school districts, while maintaining discretion and prudence. We are responsible for verifying cash and budget balances in order to release warrants. We also verify governing board's expenditures.
On a weekly basis, we process about 4,000 warrants (both payroll and payables) and 7,000 direct deposit transactions. We strive to be efficient when processing such a large number of transactions while remaining flexible to ensure everyone gets paid in a timely fashion.
Documents and Forms
- Sample Resolution - Execution of Warrants Between Board Meetings
- School Funded Lost Warrant Instructions For use when re-issuing a warrant that has been considered lost (non-garnishment only)
- School Funded Lost Warrant Affidavit Sample affidavit for use when submitting for a lost warrant issued by MCESA (non-garnishment only)
- Stop/Cancel Warrant Form Form to request the stop/cancel of a warrant issued by MCESA when the district or MCESA has physical position of the warrant.
- Check Printing Schedule MCESA check printing schedule covering most processing weeks of the year.
WARRANT PROCESSING FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
How do I check if a warrant has been cashed?
First needed is the warrant number , if your district does not have Treasurer access then call or email the Maricopa County AP dept and info will be verified. Also a copy of warrant will be provided if requested.
What do I do to request a replacement of lost warrant?
There are forms available on the web site under forms for a stop payment, lost warrant cover sheet and an affidavit . The forms need to be turned in to Millie in Business Services (formally AP department )which in turn will process and submit to the Clerk of the Board for reissue approval.
How long is the wait time before a replacement is reissued?
Usually timeframe is 10 days. Once permission is received a check will be issued and the District notified when ready for pick up.
What if an employee does not receive their direct deposit?
Check to make sure one was issued. Verify with employee that the bank information i.e. account number and routing number is correct. Business Services receives notification of returned funds starting with the day after payroll’s pay date . Length of time could be as long as 5 days.
How soon are funds reissued to employee if a direct deposit rejects?
Business services will reissue that same day so a live check will be available for pick up that afternoon.
What if a teacher does not have a current certification?
Business services will pull any physical check and hold until a current certification is received. If the teacher is on direct deposit the District has until Wednesday at 5:00 p.m. to provide a current certificate if none is received then the funds will be reversed from their bank account and a physical check issued and held until such time a certificate is received and recorded.
What is the procedure for releasing warrants for payroll on certified personnel?
Current certification needs to be recorded by County business services prior to the District’s payroll being processed. A listing is generated after payroll processing and emailed to the respective district for follow-up .
What if I still have questions regarding certification, payroll and accounts payable processing.
We are just a phone call or email away. Do not hesitate to contact the Finance Desk at 602-372-4833 (Option 2) or FinanceDesk@mcesa.maricopa.gov
List of Services:
- Convenient pick-up and delivery of inter-school mail within Maricopa County
- Walk-in recording of teaching certificates
- Payroll and A/P check processing for districts (where we have fiscal responsibility)
- Verification of budget and cash balances to ensure release of warrants to districts
- Void checks, cancellation of warrants (treasurer side)
- Emergency check processing (special conditions & authorization needed)
- Certificates of Educational Convenience both A & B
- Provide help and guidance to districts or direct them to appropriate department/personnel
Contact a Finance Desk team member,
602-372-4833 - Option 2