One of the most effective ways for a creditor to collect on a judgment against you is to levy your bank account. In one swipe they can scoop up a lot of money all at once, especially if they hit it right after you deposited your paycheck.

But what if you aren't the only owner of the bank account? What if someone else (your spouse, your parents, a child) is on the account as well, doesn't owe the creditor the money, and has deposited money? Can the creditor get that as well?

Can They Levy on the Joint Funds?

Ultimately no, they cannot, but in the meantime it will take some effort on your part to free up the funds. Under New Jersey law, the funds in a joint account are shared equally by the owners. Thus a married couple would split it 50/50, while three people would split it into thirds, etc.

But this is just a presumption; if most (or all) of the money is owned by your spouse or other depositor, you can object to the bank levy and prove, through the use of bank statements, that that money isn't yours.

How Do I Object to the Bank Levy?

There are two ways to get this evidence before a judge. The first way is to object when the creditor makes a Motion for Turnover of Funds. The levy just freezes the money in the account; the creditor still has to get a court order from a judge to get the money out. This is where you would respond to the motion with an objection and bank statements.

The second way is more pro-active. You don't have to wait for the creditor to move to get the money; you can file your own motion to object to the levy and free the funds.

For either method you can use my free Bank Levy Survival Kit, which you can download by clicking here. It will give you the form to fill out and instructions on how to use it.

But You Still Owe the Money

Getting the money out of the levy is certainly a big win and allows you to pay your bills. But in doing so you have only won a battle; you still have to fight the war. In other words, the creditor still has a judgment against you and will try other methods to get paid unless you make peace with them.

I Can Help

As a former creditor's attorney, I am fully familiar with their methods and know what they can and cannot do. In short, I speak "collector." For several years I have put that skill to use helping people pursued by creditors to reach an affordable payment arrangement that will stop the nastiness.

If you live in New Jersey, owe a creditor more than $8,000, can afford to make monthly payments on the debt, realize that you need help, and are ready to take action, then call my office immediately at 856-432-14113 to schedule an appointment. The sooner you act, the sooner you will have the peace of mind that comes with knowing that they won't be coming after you anymore.

Want more information on how to fight back with your creditors? Then download my free book, The Biggest Secrets Your Creditors Don't Want You to Know. Become empowered and protect your rights!

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Steven J. Richardson
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Bankruptcy, Collections, Student Loan, DUI and Traffic Court attorney in Woodbury, NJ.

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