The Los Angeles Bank Levy Checklist

Securing a financial judgment isn’t as difficult as you’d think, but you will need to follow the laws and regulations governed by your state for the best results.  The following information assumes you are in California.  Other states may have similar regulations, but be sure to check your state’s laws to be absolutely sure of the forms you’ll need to complete your bank levy.

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Get Your Bank Levy Done Right

In order to levy or garnish a debtor’s bank account through a California bank or lending institution, you’ll need to pay close attention to these specific laws:

Now that you know the rules you need to play by, your first step should be securing a court writ
Your start action is to get a writ of execution (Form EJ-130) from the court that has jurisdiction in the same county where your debtor’s savings account is located. When hiring a Sheriff or registered process server to deliver your paperwork, they will need an original copy of this form.

You will also need to secure a notice of levy (Form EJ-150).

Once your forms are completed, make a minimum of three copies each, including all the various other documentation and/or forms required for your specific bank levy.  Each of California’s 58 counties and their respective Sheriff’s offices have different policies, but typically require your documents to be served by either a local Sheriff or a registered process server.

Before contacting a professional to serve your documents, make sure you have everything in order.

What You’ll Need For A Sheriff or Registered Process Server

  1. Your original writ of execution, including multiple copies
  2. A check for thirty-five dollars written out to the County Sheriff to open a levy file
  3. A signed letter of instruction to the Sheriff, detailing what you want done. Include the type of service you need performed, the bank name and location, the court case number, and the judgment owner and judgment debtor names.
  4. If using a registered process server, give them a copy of the above signed letter, so they can have it “date stamped” as proof they opened the levy file prior to the bank levy being completed

You’ll also need to have the following items prepared for the debtor’s bank.

What You’ll Need For The Debtor’s Bank

  1. An original copy of the writ of execution
  2. Your original levy notice form (EJ-150) to be signed by the debtor’s bank at the time of service
  3. A copy of initial memorandum of garnishee

Lastly, you’ll need to mail the following items to the judgment debtor once the bank levy is finalized.

What You’ll Need For The Judgment Debtor

  1. A copy of your writ of execution
  2. A copy of your notice of levy
  3. A claim of exemption (Form EJ-160)
  4. An exemptions from judgment (Form EJ-155), which tells your debtor of their possible rights to exemption claims with dollar amounts. When exemptions are declared and given, they could defeat the creditor’s levy effort.

If you choose to work with a local Sheriff, they’ll have their own requirements once the levy is completed, which typically includes the following items to be sent to them within five business days.

What You’ll Need For The Sheriff

  1. Your original writ of execution
  2. Your original levy notice, dated and signed
  3. A copy of the memorandum of garnishee
  4. Proof of the service made on the bank, including the name of the bank and the individual’s name and position who signed it
  5. Proof of service by mail on your debtor

When the bank levy is final, the bank will send the judgment debtor’s funds to the Sheriff, who then holds the money long enough to ensure no cases of exemptions have been filed.  After that, the Sheriff will send you your money minus their check processing fee.  At some point, they should send back the writ to the court, showing their accounting of all funds levied and paid to the judgment owner.  Once all payments are satisfied, the bank levy is considered closed.

If you have been awarded a judgment and are beginning the collection process, we’d be more than happy to assist you and answer any questions you might have.  Just give us a call at (866) 754-0520 during normal business hours and our friendly staff will let you know exactly what you need to do to get your bank levy completed as quickly as possible.