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VEHICLE LEVY (WRIT OF EXECUTION)
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Court Document required Original Writ of Execution-Money Judgment (form EJ-130) plus three copies
Purpose of Process The writ authorizes the Sheriff to seize and sell the debtor’s vehicle to satisfy a money judgment
Sheriff's Instructions Describe the vehicle and specify the address where the vehicle can be found. The creditor’s attorney or the creditor (if the creditor doesn’t have an attorney) must sign and date the instructions.
Time for Service The writ of execution expires 180 days after the issuance.
Manner of Levy The method of levy is seizure in which the Sheriff seizes, stores and sells the debtor’s vehicle at a public auction.
Fee Deposit $1,500
Fee $85 if served, $35 if not founded or cancelled. Sale costs total $125 plus towing fees ($130 for an automobile) and storage at $34 per day.
Proof of Service A proof of service is not issued. Instead, a return detailing the Sheriff’s actions is prepared which accompanies the writ when it is returned to the court. The Sheriff telephonically notifies the creditor when the vehicle is seized.

Information Guide
Checklist
Sheriff's Instructions
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
Information Guide

The creditor may instruct the Sheriff to seize, store and sell a vehicle in the possession of the debtor. However, the Sheriff cannot enter a private place such as a garage to seize the vehicle without a private place order issued by the court pursuant to CCP 699.030. Property that is not in the possession of the debtor cannot be seized if the Sheriff determines that the property is the possession of a third party and not in the possession of the debtor.

The Sheriff must notify the vehicle’s legal owner of the seizure. A legal owner (bank, credit union, etc.) may file a third party claim based on a security interest (loan) with an unpaid balance. The vehicle must be returned to the debtor unless the creditor pays off the claim. The minimum sale price at the Sheriff’s auction is $1900 if the vehicle is the only vehicle registered to the debtor. Otherwise, the Sheriff will sell the vehicle to the highest bidder. The debtor may claim an exemption if the debtor is an individual (not a corporation or partnership). The Sheriff will mail to the creditor any claim of exemption and instructions on how to oppose the exemption. The creditor should weigh the feasibility of levying on a vehicle and take into consideration Sheriff’s fees and costs (approximately $1500), any outstanding balance owed the legal owner and the amount of any exemption. The creditor may bid at the auction by applying any or all of the creditor’s judgment. However, the creditor’s judgment cannot be applied to the first $1900 if a minimum bid is required. All bidders at the auction are advised that the Sheriff is only selling all right, title and interest of the debtor in the property.

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Checklist
  • $1500 fee deposit
  • Original Writ of Execution (Money Judgment) plus three copies
  • Sheriff’s Instructions
  • Submit to the Sheriff no later than 160 days after issuance of the Writ of Execution

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