The creditor may instruct the Sheriff to levy on a judgment
debtor's deposit account at a financial institution (bank,
savings and loan, credit union) pursuant to a writ of execution
(money judgment). A deposit account standing only in the name of
the debtor or a joint account shared by the debtor and another
person is subject to levy. The garnishment must be served at the
specific branch where the account is maintained and only
attaches those funds in the account at the time of service. The
bank is required to mail the funds to the Sheriff within 15 days
after service of the garnishment. If funds are not remitted, the
bank must mail a memorandum of garnishee to the Sheriff
explaining why the funds were not remitted. The Sheriff will
mail a copy of the memorandum to the creditor.
If the account is a joint account standing in the name of the
debtor and someone who is not a debtor, the bank will provide
the name and address of the third party in the memorandum of
garnishee. The Sheriff will notify the third party and wait 15
days for the third party to contest the levy. If the third party
takes no action within the 15-day period, the Sheriff will mail
a notice to the bank directing the bank to remit the funds to
A court order is required if the account stands in the name
of a third party and is not shared with the debtor, unless the
third party is a spouse.
A spousal affidavit is required to levy on an account
standing in the name of a spouse who is not a named debtor,
unless the account is shared with the debtor.
An unexpired, certified copy of a fictitious business name
statement is required to levy on an account standing in the name
of a fictitious business, e.g., John Smith dba Smith
Enterprises. However, all parties listed as registrants in the
fictitious business name statement must be either a debtor or
the spouse of a debtor. The Sheriff cannot serve the garnishment
if one of the registrants is not a debtor or spouse.
An affidavit of identity is required if the account stands in
an alias name of the debtor that was added by the court when the
clerk issued the writ.
A memorandum of garnishee that indicates the debtor’s
account is direct deposit social security or public benefits
account operates as a claim of exemption. The Sheriff will mail
the memorandum together with instructions on how to oppose the
exemption to the creditor. If the creditor does not timely
oppose the exemption, the Sheriff must release the levy.
The application for writ of execution is required if the writ
was issued for child or spousal support.