Multiple Levies With One Writ

Published: 17th August 2015
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California has fifty-eight unique counties. For judgment creditors, one starts their attempt to attach the majority of types of available judgment debtor assets, is to buy a writ (short for a writ of execution) from the courthouse. All writs eventually, so it's best to get writs when a potential available asset is located.

This article is my opinion and is not, legal advice. I'm a judgment expert, and not an attorney. When you want a strategy to use or legal advice, you should retain an attorney.

The most common judgment-related levies are creditor attempts to garnish their debtor's wages or bank account(s). When it comes to a bank levy, one most often picks whatever civil Sheriff branch nearest the bank's levy service location.

One needs to get a writ of execution identifying every county that you plan to attempt to levy within. You will need to pay another one more civil Sheriff's levy fee, for each wage or asset you want to get levied, using the same writ of execution.

While every Sheriff department will have their own rules, most recovery professionals include 2 copies of the Sheriff's instructions, and 3 additional copies of the original writ, with each set of Sheriff instructions.

In the circumstance when your debtor owns several available assets within the same county, for instance when they have accounts with two banks within the same county; you start with getting a regular writ specifying that county. After that, along with the regular letter of instruction to your civil Sheriff, you include instructions for the Sheriff to perform a 2nd levy on that other bank, preferably the same day. You must pay another levy officer's charge for that second attempt to levy.

What do you do if a debtor banks within two counties, and/or the debtor's 2nd bank's service of levy location is at a different county within California? What if the debtor banks within a certain county and the debtor's employer is based in another California county? In these kind of situations, you must buy two writs, one for every county, and then contact the county's Sheriff's department.

When levying debtor bank accounts, it is a good idea to coordinate things with all civil Sheriff's, to increase the chances that every bank levy happens at almost the same time. If you levy their first bank account a few days before another levy, the debtor may close their 2nd bank account before your second levy hits.

Some California counties are so large (for example, Los Angeles) that their Sheriff's divisions have several locations. With such a situation, one may want to telephone a few of their offices, to check which Sheriffs have short wait times to get levies served. The larger counties might have Sheriff web sites which lets you enter the zip code that you want to get the levy served, to show you which civil Sheriff's office to send your writ to.

Within California, if there's multiple civil Sheriff departments in one county; when you submit your original writ copy, or a bank levy gets done; all subsequent levies must be sent to the first civil Sheriff's department that holds that original court writ. That Sheriff's office will then route that second writ and levy to the right Sheriff's office in that county.

The Sheriffs in certain California counties allow you to hire a registered process server to serve the majority of levies, rather than the Sheriff's office; which usually offers much better response times and control. Of course, you still must pay the Sheriff to open a levy case file.


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