Garnishing a judgment debtor’s bank accounts is a great way
for me to collect my judgment. A bank levy is normally a simple way
to seize assets that can help pay what is owed on a judgment. A bank
levy is usually one of the easier methods to employ with a good probability
If your debtor has enough money deposited when the
account(s) are frozen to cover the amount of the judgment debt,
you will not likely have to do any additional enforcement actions.
It is wise to make sure that you have analyzed the
costs associated with the levy prior to filing the levy. In some
jurisdictions, a bank levy is very inexpensive to file, in other
places the expense is higher.
When you contemplate doing a bank levy, you will
need to make sure that the statutes in your state or jurisdiction
provide for bank levies or bank garnishments. It is quick and easy
for you to do a search of the state statutes online. You also will
need to find out to whom you must serve the proper execution documents.
This information is usually easy to find online. You probably can
get a copy of the forms that you need from the Clerk of Court. Many
court approved forms can be found online with no trouble. When I
first decided to do a bank levy I got most of the information I
needed from the Clerk of Court.
You will need to know the identity of the banks,
credit unions, or other financial institutions where your debtor
has money deposited. If you already know where your debtor banks,
the job is extremely easy. Simply follow the instructions and fill
out the required form. Then you turn the form into the proper person
and wait for the results.
When you do the levy you want to freeze any and
all accounts that your debtor has at a particular bank. You will
want to word your documentation to specifically say that your garnishment
is to cover all accounts in the name and Social Security number
of your debtor. If your instructions are plain enough, the bank
should freeze all accounts for that Social Security number including
checking, savings, lines of credit, safe deposit boxes, etc. You
want the bank to get them all. If you know your debtor has an account
at a particular bank, you may not know that he has more than one
account at that bank. You don’t want to miss any of the accounts
in your attempt to get your judgment satisfaction.
Whenever I hope to collect my judgment, I am going
to target the bank accounts on a priority basis (assuming of course
that it is legal in the state).
If your judgment debtor is a corporation, you can
do bank levies also. In fact, it may be easier to identify where
a business does their banking than a private individual.
You can be sure that when your judgment debtor finds
out that his accounts are frozen, he will understand that you are
serious about getting paid. Even if you don’t get enough money
from the bank levy to satisfy the entire judgment debt, one result
of many bank levies is the added pressure it puts on the debtor
to go ahead and pay off the judgment and put the whole mess behind
him. Even if he can’t pay the balance immediately, there will
be added pressure to at agree to a judgment settlement.
We will have much more to say about bank levies
in the future. Without a doubt a bank levy is frequently your number
one method to enforce your judgment.
Bank garnishments: It works for me,