1. Learn how to levy a bank account to
enforce a judgment.
2. The information required to execute a
As a judgment holder or assignee of record
you have several tools at your disposal to
enforce judgments you are collecting. One
very effective tool is the bank levy.
A levy is a
legal summons or warning concerning the
attachment of property to satisfy a debt.
One of the remedies in aid of execution is
the "writ of garnishment." Not all states
allow bank levies. You'll have to research
the code of procedures in your state to
determine if bank levies are allowable.
The following steps are necessary to execute
a bank levy in most states:
You prepare a writ of execution and
mail it or take it to the court
The court clerk will verify the
document for accuracy
If your computations are accurate
the court clerk will forward the
document the judge
The judge will then approve the writ
Next, you’ll receive the document in
Once you have the writ of execution
you will then mail it to the Sheriff
with instructions to levy the
judgment debtor’s bank account.
Upon receipt of your bank levy the
financial institution will
immediately freeze all funds in the
judgment debtor's accounts and will
notify both you and the judgment
The debtor then has a period of time
to try and prove the money in his
account is exempt from the levy. If
he is unable to do so, the money in
his account is released to the court
and then a check is mailed the
judgment holder or assignee of
If the bank fails to honor the levy
it can be held liable for the full
amount of the judgment.
Bank levies are a very effective tool for
enforcing a judgment. In most states you can
attach the full amount of the debtor's bank
account up to the amount of the judgment. If
the debtor's spouse or another individual is
listed on the account, you can attach
usually 50% of the account.
Typically you'll need 2 out of the 3 items
of information below to levy a judgment
debtor's bank account:
The name and address of the debtor's
The debtor's social security number
The debtor's bank account number
Bank levies are an excellent judgment
recovery enforcement tool.
Typically you can attach all monies in the
debtor's bank account up to the full amount
of the judgment. Additionally, you can
simultaneously attach as many bank accounts
as you've located.
However, keep in mind that a bank levy is
usually a one time deal. After you've levied
the debtor's account most likely he will
close the account and move to another bank
or use the account of someone else.
In an upcoming article, I provide
information regarding wage garnishments.
All the best,
Judgment Recovery Training
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