End Your Tax Problems. Start with Free Consultation.

Bank Levy Attorney California

A bank levy can significantly affect your finances.

Creditors, including the Internal Revenue Service and the California Franchise Tax Board, can garnish wages, seize your bank accounts, and seize your real estate, vehicles, and other property.  The IRS generally provides up to 30 days before requiring a bank to send funds from a taxpayer’s bank account that has been levied by the IRS to the IRS, to provide a taxpayer time to contact the IRS to resolve the taxpayer’s federal tax case and have the IRS rescind the bank levy prior to the bank sending the funds to the IRS.  Similarly, the FTB provides up to 21 days before a bank must send funds seized from a taxpayer’s bank account under an FTB bank levy to the FTB in order to provide the taxpayer time to contact the FTB and to resolve the state tax case and have the FTB rescind the bank levy prior to the bank sending the funds to the FTB.  Our tax attorneys can negotiate with the IRS and the FTB to resolve your federal or state tax case and have the IRS or the FTB rescind the bank levy provided that a taxpayer can contact our firm prior to the passing of the 30 days, in the case of an IRS bank levy, and prior to the passing of the 21 days in the case of an FTB bank levy, and even after the bank has already sent the funds to either the IRS or to the FTB, under certain circumstances our tax attorneys might be able to obtain a partial return of some of the monies levied.  In regards to a bank levy by a private creditor in California, you can save some of your seized bank account funds by filing a claim of exemptions. So, if you get served with a levy, our team of attorneys can help.

What Is A Bank Levy?

In California, if you fail to pay the owed amount to a private creditor, the creditor can take you to court to obtain a legal judgment against you ordering you to pay to the creditor the amount of money specified in the judgment, and the creditor can then use a bank levy as the legal vehicle to get the money. All the creditor needs to do is collect the necessary documents from the court, discover what bank you use, and pay a fee to a sheriff or a levying officer to seize the funds in your account up to the judgment amount. 

Under the levy, money from your account will be transferred to the private creditor, as stated in the judgment. The IRS and the FTB do not need a court judgment to issue a bank levy.

How Are Private Bank Levies Issued In California?

First, the judgment creditor obtains the writ of execution from the court, a document containing the details of the amount owed by the borrower. It also includes the court charges, attorney’s fees, and post-judgment costs. 

Then, for a small fee, the sheriff serves the writ to your bank and holds the owed amount from your bank account up to the amount of the judgment. A writ can only be used once, so the creditor may file for multiple writs at different banks until they receive all the money owed to them. 

After the funds are seized, they are transferred to the creditor, and you get a notice of levy from the bank stating which account was levied. 

How To Stop A Private Bank Levy In California?

You’ll have to take prompt actions to stop the creditor from taking your money. Luckily, the court allows you to claim an exemption to save certain funds from being seized. When a levy is placed on your account, it gets frozen and the bank holds the money for ten days.

Our team of professionals can help file the claim for exemptions during this ten-day period and save the following assets from a levy:

  • Three-fourths of income earned up to 30 days prior to the levy
  • Your veteran’s benefits
  • Worker’s reimbursement
  • Benefits from social security
  • Security income for supplementation
  • Disability, unemployment, and public retirement benefits

Furthermore, California law allows the borrowers to protect the funds required to sustain themselves, but you must act quickly. If the funds are seized after the holding period, you won’t get them back. 

How To Claim An Exemption?

When an account is levied, the borrower receives the following documents:

  • A copy of the writ 
  • Levy notice
  • A list of exemptions

You’ll have to fill out the exemptions form and return it to the levying officer or the sheriff. Additionally, you’ll need to write a financial statement in case the levied fund is crucial to support your family. 

After that, the judgment creditor may approve your claim and return the money, or dispute it and set a hearing in the court. 

What Happens At The Hearing?

A hearing is set to determine if your claim of exemptions is genuine; the judge reviews it and decides whether it is lawfully acceptable. If the judge grants the exemption, the seized funds will be returned to you, but if the judge denies the claim of exemptions, the creditor’s levy will stand.

Also, note that even if the exemption is approved, it only covers certain levied funds, and the creditor can still obtain multiple writs for your other bank accounts. So, you’ll have to be on your toes to file multiple claims of exemptions to save your money.

How Can We Help You?

As previously discussed, bank levies are quick, so you need to understand them quickly and take the necessary actions. Now that can be really overwhelming for people who don’t know much about banking, finances, and legal procedures. That’s when our team of dedicated bank levy attorneys steps in. 

We can thoroughly review a bank levy, assess your legal options and explain them to you. Additionally, we can help you file your claim of exemptions and serve it within the required time. 

Our attorneys will defend your case in hearings before the judge, so you need not worry about hiring an expensive lawyer. 

Also, we cannot forget that judgment creditors commonly ignore valid claims of exemptions, even on funds protected under state law. Your exemption claim may be legitimate, but the creditors rely on borrowers being unaware of their rights. 

But, with our help, you’ll always be aware of your rights and other legal safety. That way, you’ll have better chances of getting your claim of exemptions approved. 

So, if you get served with a levy in California, do reach out to us for a free initial consultation!