Get Your Riverside Bank Levy Served Right
What if you know for sure where a judgment debtor banks, then pay a Sheriff to levy their bank account, and the bank responds with “no funds” or “account closed”?
Riverside bank levies are costly, with the cost of discovering where the judgment debtor banks, paying the court, the Sheriff, and a process server, and getting a “no funds” or “account closed” letter can be irritating.
If you do, there are six likely reasons:
- The judgment debtor is poor or closed their bank account
- The Sheriff, you, or someone else made a typographical error that led the levy to fail
- Either you or your information was wrong and the judgment debtor never had a bank account at the bank or branch you levied
- The debtor uses an alias name or is only an authorized signer of the bank account and has no actual ownership of the money
- The bank made a mistake
- The bank is lying or is shielding the judgment debtor from levy
The most common reasons are the judgment debtor either never had an account, closed their account, is just a signer of the account, or uses an alias.
When your judgment debtor is poor, bank levy efforts seldom cover the money you spend. At judgment debtor examinations, when you ask judgment debtors where they bank, many will lie to protect their funds.
Even when you know for sure where a judgment debtor banks, some judgment debtors switch checking accounts often to avoid levies and garnishments. There are even laws that shield certain personal financial details, even for judgment debtors.
There are some effective methods of finding a savings account. Many banks keep historical records that are not totally current or precise, especially when dealing with evasive judgment debtors. If the judgment debtor makes use of an alias, get an affidavit of identification accepted by the court, with proof linking the judgment debtor with the names they are currently using.
When the judgment debtor owns a DBA business, to obtain an affidavit of identification authorized by the court, you’ll need a registered copy of their fictitious business name statement.
In some cases “no funds” suggests the judgment debtor is only a licensed signer of the bank account. That means the judgment debtor is just linked to the account and has no ownership of the cash that could be accessed by a levy. Some individuals open checking account for their children, under The Uniform Transfers to Minors Act. Some utilize their child’s account as their personal bank account that is off-limits to creditors.
If you are positive you know the judgment debtor’s correct bank and that money was in the account at the time of the levy, you can arrange, subpoena, and serve a judgment debtor for an examination at the court. A subpoenaed request for the manufacturing of papers is called a Subpoena Duces Tecum. These requests need to include any and all accounts connected with the judgment debtor. You can subpoena a request for the manufacturing of files, from both the judgment debtor and their bank as a third-party.
One goal can be to subpoena both the bank and the judgment debtor in court at the same time to answer concerns and produce files. Asking for a year’s worth of records may turn up records for an account that didn’t seem to exist before.
In California, if the debtor is an individual, you’ll need to first serve them a “notice to levy”. If the judgment debtor does not show up, you can still attempt to recover the judgment. If the bank does not show up, California state laws may allow you to sue them.
If you can show proof the bank had funds in the name of the judgment debtor at the time your levy was served, you can try to secure judgment by first writing a request letter to the bank, requesting the balance in the account on the levy date, up to the quantity required to complete the judgment. Include the evidence you have that the account existed along with the Sheriff’s paperwork, and the bank’s memorandum of garnishee, that shows their previous statement of “no account”.
Some banks will furnish the funds after getting a courteous request letter. In other situations, you may have to sue the bank, which could actually lead to settlement before any trial takes place.
If you need a Riverside bank levy or have questions regarding your bank levy process, give JPL Process Service a call at (866) 754-0520.