3 ways to fight a creditor’s bank levy in Tacoma
So, you recently received a notice from your bank that some collection agency has filed a levy on your bank account. What you may not know is that a creditor cannot levy your bank account without a court order or judgment against you and that you must be served notice of the lawsuit. But wait a minute, you say you didn’t know anything about a lawsuit being filed against you? You mean, you were never served with a court summons? Welcome to the underside of debt collection.
There is some guy who works for the collection agency who signed his name on a proof of service, swearing under oath that he served you. We call this a “drive-by service,” where the guy may drive by your house, but no actual service took place. You know that he lied. You know that you were not properly served, but at this point, it doesn’t matter. Your bank account is going to levy and you stand to lose whatever you have on deposit in your bank.
So, what do you do? How do you stop a bank levy?
1. You can file bankruptcy in Tacoma.
Filing for bankruptcy in Tacoma will stop most bank levies. You may even be able to recoup some or all the money that has been taken from you if you immediately file for bankruptcy. An emergency bankruptcy can be filed in a matter of hour in some cases by one of our Tacoma bankruptcy attorneys. If you are able to “exempt” those funds that were levied from your bank account, then the creditor could be forced to return the money to you. A Tacoma bankruptcy attorney will be able to tell you if some, none or all of the funds could be returned after you file bankruptcy in Tacoma.
2. You could contest the lawsuit or the proof of service of summons.
This could be impossible because the creditor’s judgment could be too old to contest. However, if you were not properly served, you could have the judgment set aside. It is a complicated process and it can be costly. You should consult with a Tacoma bankruptcy attorney or civil attorney to find out how to go about doing this.
3. You could change banks in Tacoma or close your account.
In some cases, you cannot file for bankruptcy or the judgment against you cannot be vacated. This likely means whatever was levied from your account cannot be recovered for you. In many cases, the levy will not be enough to satisfy the judgment. This means that every dollar you deposit into the levied account may be at risk for future levies. You can close that account and open a bank account at another bank, but the creditor may be able to locate your new bank account. If that happens, you can bet that your account will be levied again. Another option is to go to all cash. When you get paid, cash your check, pay your bills with money orders or in person with cash. This is not an easy way to live but if you are really on the run from creditors, you may find it necessary. However, at best this is a temporary solution. Eventually, you will need to turn and face your creditors.
If you are facing a bank levy or other financial problems in Tacoma, we encourage you to call us and schedule an appointment with a Tacoma bankruptcy attorney. We can help you avoid or eliminate bank levies and keep you from becoming a member of the financial underground.