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Claim of Exemption - Bank Levy

Ask the Court to Stop or Reduce a Bank Levy

One of the common methods used by creditors to collect on court judgments is to levy bank accounts in the debtor’s name. In order to do this, the creditor will request that the court issue a Writ of Execution (EJ-130), which is a court order directing the sheriff of a particular county, to enforce the judgment. The creditor then takes the writ to the sheriff of the appropriate county along with instructions to levy the accounts or safe deposit boxes in the debtor’s name at a particular bank. If this happens in a case in which there is a judgment against you, you will be mailed a Notice of Levy (EJ-150), along with some additional informational documents.

Upon receiving the order to levy, the bank will typically freeze the funds in the affected account, up to the amount of levy, or the Sheriff will hold onto those funds for a period of ten days before forwarding the funds or property to the creditor. This delay is to give you the opportunity to seek to stop or reduce the levy by filing a Claim of Exemption (EJ-160).

IMPORTANT: Remember, once you receive these documents you have 10 days in which to file your Claim of Exemption and Declaration with the Sheriff's department listed on the Notice of Levy.


The Judicial Council forms commonly used in this procedure are:   

Click here to download this Guide, with step-by-step instructions, including sample forms

 Claim of Exemption - Bank Levy: Ask the Court to Stop or Reduce a Bank Levy (Step by Step)