Bank Levy
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LEVYING BANK ACCOUNTS

QUESTION: Our HOA is trying to recoup overdue assessments from owners. We've gone to small claims court and received a judgment against an owner. However, when we try to levy a bank account CCP §684.110(c) says “. . . service shall be made at the office or branch . . . at which a deposit account levied upon is carried." We have debtors that we know have bank accounts but the branch is unknown and finding it is nearly impossible. Any recommendations?

ANSWER: Some banks do not require service of a levy on the specific branch where the account is located. This is more common now because of the advent of online banking. Otherwise, where would you serve a levy if the account is online instead of being held at a branch office?

Agent for Levies. Where there is a specific location requirement, the levy must be served on that location. There is legislation requiring banks to designate a local agent or office for all levies but most banks are slow in complying. There is growing movement in California’s creditor lobby to compel banks to move faster to comply.

Recommendation: Until banks designate an agent or office for levies, you can hire a private investigator familiar with locating bank accounts. Some collection attorneys offer investigative services to their clients. The cost is approximately $200. Most private investigators do not charge if no account can be located (or charge a nominal fee).

ASSISTANCE: Associations needing legal assistance can contact us. To stay current with issues affecting community associations, subscribe to the Davis-Stirling Newsletter.

Adams Stirling PLC