A judgment creditor can cause funds from your checking account to be levied. However, timely action can reverse this. Usually, people come to know of having their checking accounts seized when they receive a notice from the bank. If you wish to recover this, you need to know the process that had taken place. In most cases, bank levies occur only after the creditors have obtained judgment for the money owed to them. However, most of these judgments are obtained by default, usually based on false claims of sending summons and complaints. Unfortunately, the debtors have no information regarding this as they had never received any papers of their bank account seizure. If something similar has happened to you, know that there are ways through which the action can be reversed.
What does the law say?
The California law requires that banks freeze the funds for 10 days before handing them over to the sheriff for eventual transfer to the creditor. Therefore, if you file for bankruptcy before this period runs out, you can recover the money. It is essential for any debtor to quickly file for bankruptcy proceedings once they have learned of their bank accounts being levied by a judgment creditor. Once the emergency bankruptcy petition is filed, the frozen funds remain either with the bank or the sheriff.
Once you have filed for bankruptcy, the Section 522(f) motion can be used to avoid a judicial lien on exempt property. After filing for bankruptcy, the debtor can ask the court through a motion to determine if the frozen funds can be exempted using wildcard exemption. If they can be exempted under Section 522(f) of the Bankruptcy Code, the court can avoid the creditor’s lien on the levied funds. The seized funds can be turned over to the debtor when the judicial lien is avoided. Since the motion to avoid the lien cannot be filed unless bankruptcy has been filed, but the freeze on the account exists only for 10 days, timely action must be taken. If this is something you are currently facing, consulting a qualified bankruptcy attorney is important to avoid any monetary loss, which may be essential for you and your family in the future.