Judgments and taking money from checking accounts

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Fri, 05/30/2008 - 03:36

Hello, I have a few questions on judgments. First, how many times can someone take money from your checking account when a judgment has been filed against you, and is there a limit they can take? Also, if a judgment is to be filed against you, aren't you supposed to be served in person to at least sign that you have seen the summons?

Last year in November I received a letter from my family that got sent to their house (They live in RI, I live in MO). That letter was a summons to appear in court in RI. I got the letter 2 days after the court date and so needless to say I didn't go to court and the judgment was accepted by the courts (I couldn't have gone to court anyway seeing as I live in MO now and have been for 10 years). Not soon after they took all the money from my checking account and savings. I called them after seeing this and to make a long story short I gave them my current address and phone number and they told me that the person handling my case was on vacation and would get back to me.

Now six months later and no further communication between them and I (I told my family to return to sender any further mail from them as they have my current info and can mail me or call me if they wish). This week I saw that they took all my money out of my account again. Almost 6 months to the day of the fist garnishment.

Anyway, can anyone help me with my questions? Any help would be greatly appreciated. I don't have the money to grab a lawyer and they seem unwilling to make payment arrangements.


PS. To clear something up, I have never lived at the address that they were sending the letters to. I did live in RI, but that was nearly 10 years ago.

IF I were you I would call my local AG. I would also have info on the debt that you were sued over. I would also make sure that I had all of the information on the judgement that i could get before I called.

Fri, 05/30/2008 - 05:27 Permalink

As far as I know, whenever a creditor gets a judgment against you he can garnish wages or even take money from the bank account. In case of garnishment of wages, the creditor can garnish 25% of your income over and over again. However in case of bank levy the creditor can take money out of your checking account whenever he finds money into the account till the time the debt has been paid in full.

Fri, 05/30/2008 - 09:53 Permalink

I agree with carol on this point. Say for example, the judgment against you is for 1000 dollars. If they find this money in your checking account, he can take the money out of the checking account. But if your account has say 500$, the creditor can take out this amount and wait for your next cheque to fall into your account. If the creditor requests the bank with the judgment letter to collect any money that gets deposited into your accounts, the moment any amount that falls into your account, it gets garnished by the creditor and this process continues till you paid the entire 1000 dollars.This is also known as bank levy where the creditors do not take bit by bit but instead take all of it until the debt is paid in full.

Fri, 05/30/2008 - 10:03 Permalink
Vinny4422 (not verified)

Thanks for the replies. I was afraid that they could just keep taking it. Any information on my second question though, as to shouldn't I have to sign for a summons to appear in court for a judgment so I at least know when I have to appear in court? I just got a letter yesterday from my bank saying that the lawyers had the courts sign papers again on May 19th saying they could take funds. Why am I not getting warned by the courts beforehand?

Sat, 05/31/2008 - 19:18 Permalink
donna (not verified)

my mom had her checking account garnished right now her money is frozen the only money going in there is her social security check. she had a stroke and is in a nursing home. this is her only income can they take her money or is s.s money excempt from garnishment

Fri, 06/13/2008 - 23:30 Permalink

Hi donna
Social security account can never by garnished by any credit card companies or collection agencies as they are protected from private creditor action. these accounts are garnished only for back alimony, child support, unpaid federal taxes and amounts due other federal agencies.

Sat, 06/14/2008 - 11:02 Permalink

I din't think 'they' could take ANY money out from SS. Not even child support, taxes, etc. If that is all someone is getting, as income, how can ANYONE do that? Does this ca/Collector know your mom is getting ONLY SS, DONNA?

Sat, 06/14/2008 - 14:01 Permalink

Hi sdchargers
Social security account can be garnished for child support, back alimony and for payment of federal taxes but not by any private credit card agencies. I think that Donna should report the CA that the checking account is her mother's SS account and that too by certified post. If the CA does not stop garnishing her account she should report this matter to the FTC and consult a social security lawyer at the same time.

Mon, 06/16/2008 - 10:39 Permalink
Cheerindy (not verified)

you need to file a motion to get judgment vacated, voided or reversed. You still have time to do this. I would contact an attorney or do it yourself. You can easily get this done, because you can prove you did not receive summons & didn't even live in that state at the time. Do NOT sit on this, get busy taking care of this now. If you wait until after 1 year has passed, you will have a harder time vacating or getting dismissed. Even if this is your debt, you weren't served & lived in another state, therefore the judge will vacate. GOOD LUCK!

Mon, 06/16/2008 - 15:06 Permalink
betsy (not verified)

i have direct deposit yesterday was payday and i was wiped out of my pay.i have no idea what this is about. i went to my bank and they told me it was taken by nrs they said it must be collections .can they to this please help i live in ny

Sun, 07/13/2008 - 01:07 Permalink

I am also currently researching some atricles I read that stated if you were never served the summons *I had one that was just sent to my home* after you pay it you can file a motion to have the judgement removed from your CR since they did not follow the correct process.

Sun, 07/13/2008 - 01:16 Permalink
Thom (not verified)

I have garnished a checking account of a person that I have a Default Judgement against. The money has been frozen by the bank and I will get it as soon as funds are ordered by the court. Now this Judgment Debtor has opened another account with the same bank. I included on the first garnishment, the words 'and any other account held under judgement debtors name(s)' - do I have to file another garnishment on this guys new checking account?

Thu, 08/14/2008 - 02:03 Permalink

I included on the first garnishment, the words 'and any other account held under judgement debtors name(s)' - do I have to file another garnishment on this guys new checking account?

Did you include the persons account number or social security number as an identifier? You may want to call the bank and ask them about this, I am sure they will explain the process?

Why did you have to go to this measure? If you had a judgement, wasn't the person ordered to pay when you got the original judgement against them? Not real sure how this works?

Thu, 08/14/2008 - 02:33 Permalink
Jim (not verified)

We had our checking account wiped out last week by a creditor for an amount in excess of what we had agreed upon. I filed a motion to quash the garnishment with the court on Mon. and had a hearing on Wed. and the motion was granted and they had to put the money back in the bank. Course the bank (Regions) kept out $100 to steal my money in the first place and refuses to replace it.
I would suggest that everyone stop the automatic deposit of their paychecks and buy a safe. Also pay your creditors with money orders so they don't have access to your checking account#. Best.....deal in cash only.

Thu, 11/13/2008 - 23:24 Permalink

Jim...Thank you. This is what I try to advise people. you are not the first and surley will n ot be the last person this happens to. I had this happen to my sister and she didn't even have a garnishment or judgement. Nope, they just decided to dip into her account and take some funds. She had disputed it with her bank and the bank had replaced the money and gone after the creditor that took it. I fo not believe she even had it set up on the automatic system. They somehow (creditors) have ways of finding bank accounts (should be illegal) and doing this. People usaully get their money back when they do it this way but it takes some time.

Thu, 11/20/2008 - 14:57 Permalink

I have had this happen to me, I have posted before about how they just go in and take the money out and I have had to go to the bank to file the dispute and get my money back. Pain in the rear and I have no clue how they got my bank account information.

Thu, 11/20/2008 - 15:52 Permalink

Violation of rights.....peeves me off...You think you could have sued them for doing this since it smells illegal to me. Did the bank say you had any legal action you could take against them? Be nice to see them pay for a change.

Thu, 11/20/2008 - 16:46 Permalink
Maria Reynolds (not verified)

I want to know if I open a new checking account in another bank will they find me to take more money with my social sec number

Wed, 01/21/2009 - 04:56 Permalink
LeeAnn (not verified)

I just had money taken out of my checking account on Friday. I moved from RI to NY in July and had a judgment in RI in June. I answered it and said I would be willing to make payments, but moved from RI and did not receive any other communications. Do I have any recoarse????

Mon, 02/02/2009 - 19:37 Permalink

No, you do not have any other option. Your bank account will continue to be garnished so long as the judgment amount is paid back in full. Whenever any money gets credited in your checking account, the bank will debit it from your account automatically and send it to the creditor.

Tue, 02/03/2009 - 10:21 Permalink
Anonymous (not verified)

help. can they garnish my social security.

Wed, 02/04/2009 - 00:03 Permalink

No they can not take wages that are from Social security. You will have to make them aware of the fact that this is what the money is from. You may also want to notify your bank. They also can not take money from your bank account,unless you give them permission, until they get a judgement in their favor.

Wed, 02/04/2009 - 01:57 Permalink

No, the creditor cannot take money from your checking account if the money that gets credited there is your social security benefit, because according to the Federal law, ss benefit cannot be garnished. However, you should inform the bank in writing that the the credited money is your ss benefit so that they do not garnish it. SS income can only be garnished for outstanding Federal Tax recovery and alimony and child support obligations.

Wed, 02/04/2009 - 08:56 Permalink
Bewildered (not verified)

How do they find out your checking accounts and what bank they are at?

Mon, 03/30/2009 - 22:58 Permalink

If the creditor or the collection agency has your social security number, they can easily track your bank account details through that number, because the ss number is required when we apply for a new checking account.

Tue, 03/31/2009 - 09:39 Permalink
Cheri (not verified)

Can my checking account have a levy put on it for child support arrearages when I am already having it garnished out of my pay check?

Thu, 04/16/2009 - 05:31 Permalink
prudence (not verified)

I owe money to creditors and I have just gotten an inheritance from my mom. Where can I put the money so the creditors cant take it?

Mon, 04/20/2009 - 12:31 Permalink

Hi Prudence
There are two options available to you. You either need to keep the money in your bank account or keep cash with you. Now, since you owe money to the creditors, they can sue you to the court anytime and bring judgment against you to garnish your bank account and take money out from there. So I think that the best option is to keep cash with you. However, you can also invest the money in gold.

Tue, 04/21/2009 - 06:11 Permalink

Hi hellcat,

There are certain limits to garnishment. You can object that you need the money for your own support. For this you will have to fill out a form in court. By filling out the form you can be temporarily "judgment-proof". However once you are employed the creditor can seek a judgment and restart collection of debt by garnishing 25% of your wages. So once you are employed it is better to negotiate and pay off the debt. "Paid as settled" listed in your credit report is better than "judgment".

Tue, 05/12/2009 - 08:27 Permalink
Christina (not verified)

I had recently found out about some store credit cards that were opened in my name in 2004, at the time these were opened i was disabled from a car accident and i was disabled for 13 mos, just finding out about because apparently the only get up to 6 years to collect the debt or something (and without pressing charges cant get it taken care of and dont feel like I can do that)thy froze my bank account and did what they asked and provided what I needed to and they released it and I have had to pay the city marshall and have paid that off, my concern is that I think that there are more but I dont what where or who to contact to avoid that entire process again, I have taken it up personally with whom has done this but am concerned that someone else will freeze my account and I will be stuck again.Also there was a wage garnishment placed, I dont know who did this but I have a position at a bank and am concerned that this all can result in termination, then nobody will get anything but I am just wondering wher i can find what rights I have,howmany times my account can be frozen and how many garnishments can be placed!!!

Sun, 08/23/2009 - 16:50 Permalink
Christina (not verified)

I have moved since these accounts were open at least 2 times and really havent received manytthing on them until recently withe the freez on my account and that was a little late, I am trying to stay on top of it so that I can maintain my job and account in a good status but dont know what to do and if I need to still be concerned or if there is a limit to what they can to me until I can figure it all out!!!
PS I live in upstate New YOrk

Sun, 08/23/2009 - 16:54 Permalink

Christina, I really feel you should have pressedx charges. You may have to live with these consequences for years and years over someone who took advanage of you when you were down and out. Who is to say , since the SOL has not passed, that there are not more creditors waiting to sue you? Some may have passed debts off to debt collectors and you will face years of calls and harassment.
You are really in a bad situation and one that could haunt you for years to come. The only prob lem is by paying on these debts you probaly now took responsiblilty and full ownership of them. You may just have to continue on paying them and hope new ones do not come up.

Sun, 08/23/2009 - 23:39 Permalink

That is how it normally works, but things can get goofy at times.

Mon, 08/24/2009 - 11:09 Permalink

I am sure it does but with out trying this could actually ruin your credit. It is always hard when a loved one is involved but I have to think the loved one did not care as much when the other person was recovering from the accident. Not repoprting this is going to effect credit for a long time to come and not teach the other person a lesson.

Mon, 08/24/2009 - 13:19 Permalink

I hear you, just like when you are co signing, as much as you want to help out someone, you must be very careful, you can end up in a lot of crap trying to be nice. Seems like the co signer really gets the shaft. Always be prepared to pay for it as if you got it for yourself if you are signing to back someone up on a loan.

Mon, 08/24/2009 - 17:25 Permalink
yellowrose (not verified)

I recently received letters from local attorneys asking that I contact them re: a recent judgement filed on me 2 weeks ago, but this is the first that I've heard of any such judgement. Should I expect to be 'served'? If not - then how can I locate this judgement to obtain the details?

Mon, 08/24/2009 - 18:51 Permalink

hi yellowrose

pull up your credit report. It must contain information about the judgment. Contact the creditor and try and negotiate with them about arriving at a settlement. Make sure you have your figures right when you make your offer.

Tue, 08/25/2009 - 11:10 Permalink
bill (not verified)

Can credit companies garnish my checking account where I have
direct deposit for my state pension, I'm 68 years old, and my
wife and children are also on the account,

Mon, 08/31/2009 - 19:01 Permalink
Anonymous (not verified)

My check is being garnished for child and the rears included . now I am left with about 600 after child support takes the money out , I deposit my check every time i get paid and now my account is frozen. is that a default on their behalf be just not looking in to it and will my account be released once a fax my info over to them

Sun, 09/06/2009 - 23:45 Permalink
Paul (not verified)

I'm paying 700 in Child support and now the money i have in my checking they are trying to take as well when my checks are what is goin in to my account can they still take what they are leaving me with after child support is being taken out already

Sun, 09/06/2009 - 23:51 Permalink
Susan (not verified)

I had a law office call me on debt I owe, to a finace company, we set a date for the money to come out of my checking account. But 3 days later they tried to take it out of my checking, the money wasn't there, so I was charged a $35.00 fee. They took it out 2 weeks early. and to top it off they sent me a letter confirming our date the money would be taken out. what can I do about them more less lieing to me. I have the proof of the letter they sent me and where it was taken out of my checking account. Thanks Susan

Sun, 09/20/2009 - 02:36 Permalink
Susan (not verified)

I had a law office call me on debt i owe, to a finace company, we set a date for it to come out of my checking account. But, 3 days later after talking to this man, they tried to take it out of my account, which the money wasn't there , I was charged a $35.00 fee for NSF. They tried to take it out 2 weeks early of the date we set., and to top it off, the day they tried to take it out, was the day I got a letter confirming the date, and when the money would be taken out. What can I do about them more less lieing to me. I have the proof, the letter and where they tried to take it out of my account and where I was charged for NSF. Thanks Susan

Sun, 09/20/2009 - 02:46 Permalink
in need of help (not verified)

If social security is garnishing my wages can they also take the money from my bank account?

Tue, 09/29/2009 - 00:05 Permalink
Down&Out (not verified)

My husband gets SS and has a Credit Card closed account he cannot afford to pay. If the Credit card company gets a judgement on him will we know before hand that they are going to take the money from us or will we have no idea and they just take it from his SS check?

Thu, 10/15/2009 - 14:37 Permalink

Hi Down&out,

Whenever, a creditor attaches any asset that can be liquidated to pay the debt amount, the debtor is informed beforehand. You will get a notice of judgment which will tell you that your bank account or wages are going to be garnished by the creditor.

However, in your case, the bank account will not be garnished since your husband draws his money from Social Security. Social Security Income cannot be garnished by any creditor. But remember not to mingle other bank accounts with the SSI account. In that case it could be garnished. If the only source of income is through SS, then it cannot be garnished.

Fri, 10/16/2009 - 11:52 Permalink
venture_notgained (not verified)

look at all these people...page after page....website after website.....when will this end? will people ever get tired of being abused and taken advantage of? Granted, bad choices probably involve a lot of these people, but man...they will be paying for years! I thought debtors prison was gone? Now we are free to walk around and not have anything in our slavery. I am there, and feel the pain people...good luck to us all.

Sat, 10/17/2009 - 13:24 Permalink

Thank you venture, unfortunately when bad choices are made or financial situation has changed due to job loss or other, we all at any time may find ourselves in over our heads. One thing I have found working with people is that you are one paycheck away from disaster.

Hate to be so gloomy, but I think with this administration and the way things are going it is only gonna get worse. I just pray we all have the strength to survive it.

Sun, 10/18/2009 - 00:06 Permalink