The Althauser Rayan Abbarno attorneys want you to know about changes to creditor-debtor law that could exempt your property through execution, attachment, and garnishments.


A creditor may seek enforcement of a debt owed by a debtor through execution, attachment, or garnishment of the debtor’s property. Execution is the legal process for enforcing a court judgment for the payment of money or property by levying on the judgment debtor’s property.

Attachment is a legal process that allows a plaintiff in a court action to ask the court to attach the defendant’s property during the pendency of the action as security for satisfaction of a judgment that may be rendered in favor of the plaintiff.

Garnishment is a legal process by which a judgment creditor may recover funds owed by a judgment debtor by compelling third parties to divert to the creditor certain funds owned by or owed to the debtor, such as funds held in the debtor’s bank accounts or the debtor’s wages
held by an employer.

Washington law entitles individual debtors or households to claim certain property as exempt from execution, attachment, and garnishment:

  • all wearing apparel of every individual and family,
  • all private libraries including electronic media, but not to exceed $3,500 in value;
  • a cell phone, personal computer, and printer; and
  • money paid or payable under worker’s compensation shall, before the issuance and delivery of the payment, be assigned, charged, or taken in execution, attached, or garnished, or pass or be paid to any other person; and
  • other property.

For additional information or questions about exempt property, contact Althauser Rayan Abbarno, LLP in Centralia or Olympia for a consultation.

New Law

The new law makes changes to the existing exempt property list, including

  • Increases the value limit for certain exemptions of personal property from execution, attachment, and garnishment.
  • Clarifies that in the case of married persons, each spouse is entitled to the exemptions of personal property from execution, attachment, and garnishment.
  • Requires that each dollar amount be adjusted every three years, beginning April 1, 2026, by the Department of Revenue to reflect changes in the consumer price index seasonally adjusted for all urban consumers, all items, for the United States, as calculated by the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics.
  • Exempts worker’s compensation payments from execution, attachment, or garnishment; even after issuance and receipt by the injured worker.

In the case of married persons, each spouse is entitled to the exemptions of personal property, which may be combined with the other spouse’s exemption in the same property or taken in different exempt property.

Althauser Rayan Abbarno attorneys

For a consultation in Centralia or Olympia, call (360) 736-1301 or visit