Need A San Bernardino Bank Levy Served?
We get many questions from people about doing a bank levy to secure the money owed on their court judgment. After all, bank levies are a fantastic method to get the court judgment paid at one time. It doesn’t matter if your judgment is from Small Claims Court or regular Civil Court.
Here are a few things you should consider:
1) Do you know where the debtor banks?
If some cases you may have an old check from the debtor. Or possibly he was a former buddy or business partner, and you know where he banks. But of course he could have closed his account to prevent you from accessing his funds. You cannot be sure, but there are numerous legal means to discover the whereabouts of a person’s bank account. Do a search on Google or contact your attorney for aid.
Tip: Most individuals bank at one of the major banks in a location. If all else fails, put a levy on all of the banks at the same time. In many states besides California, it doesn’t matter which branch you levy upon. Any type of levy on any sort of branch is good for all accounts held by that bank at any area in the state. In California, you’ll need to do a bit more research.
2) How Much does it cost?
The price of levying a bank is minimal in many states. You require a Writ of Execution (often called a Writ of Garnishment). The cost is anywhere from $7.00 in California to over a $100 in Florida. You can then ask the sheriff to serve the bank for you. The writ of execution is the instrument the sheriff will use to levy the bank for you. The writ tells the sheriff how much your judgment was for, what prices you’ve incurred so far implementing the judgment, and the amount of interest that is due on the judgment. This “writ” is stamped and signed by the court, then mailed back to you.
Most states have an internet site where you can get their writ online in a PDF file. Or you can find one for a small fee at Legal Zoom. When you have the writ, simply enter the information and the amounts, including computed interest based on your states annual interest rate.
In most states, when you complete the Writ of Execution, you’ll also need to complete an accompanying form called a “Memorandum of Costs.” This “memo of expenses” is where you validate the interest as well as the explanation for the added court fees you may have had, such as a judgment debtor assessments, process services and lawyer fees.
This might appear complex, however if you take it a step at a time, it’s fairly easy. Just fill out the forms and call your court to obtain the precise price for submitting the writ. The court may well have a free legal adviser who can offer you certain information about filling out the writ. Fill it out and either mail it in or take it to the court with a check to cover the fee.
Then call the sheriff to see what the expense is for serving the bank or banks. In some counties, sheriffs are far too busy to handle bank levies, so you’ll need to use a Registered Process Server. They cost a bit more, but they are worth it due to the fact that you can levy the bank on the specific day you wish.
3) When should I levy on the bank?
In a great deal of cases you will not know precisely when your debtor will have the most cash in the account. However, you might know if the debtor gets a direct deposit payment. If you have this information, it’s best to levy around the 2nd or the 16th of the month. Also, if your debtor is a tenant, then factor in when you think the property manager will cash the debtor’s rent check. You’ll want to levy prior to the check being cashed.
If the debtor has a residence and pays a home loan, the mortgage will most likely be due by the 15th of the month. In some cases it’s best to levy around the 5th of the month, as that’s the day when the most money is likely in the account. Even if the debtor banks at the same bank that holds his home mortgage, the bank still needs to honor your levy by law.
4) Levy the appropriate bank
If you are going to levy the bank on a particular day of the month, then be sure to use a registered process server because they can do it at the specific day and time that you ask for. A sheriff will do it when they get around to it. After the bank is levied, be patient. The bank will freeze the account and all cash in it up to the quantity of the writ, then hold the funds for roughly 15 days before turning it over to the sheriff. The sheriff will then hold it for some time before sending it to you.
The debtor does have a possibility to file a “Claim of Exemption,” saying that the cash in the account is exempt for this reason or that. This occurs in about 15 % of the cases. Do not worry about it till it occurs. If it does happen to you, call the court to see just what your options are.
Inform them you wish to file an opposition to the claim of exemption, and set a hearing. The debtor will need to appear in court and explain why the cash should be exempt. Typically, they have no good reason at all, and the court will rule in your favor. It’s an extra action and a bit of an inconvenience, but worth the time and effort to follow through.
Remember, nothing takes place quickly when you are dealing with issues involving the federal government. So, continue to be patient. The sheriff will notify you by mail the amount of cash that was successfully levied upon. The check will then show up in about 30-45 days. Due to spending cuts in regional areas, it might take even longer. Call the sheriff for the length of time.
If you’re trying to find San Bernardino process servers that take care of bank levies throughout the State of California, call JPL Process Service at (866) 754-0520 for quick turnaround, budget friendly rates and the assurance your documents are served correctly and on time.