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How do creditors find your bank accounts to levy?

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Can creditors find your bank accounts? If so, how? I'm sure that if you use a checking account to pay a creditor, then they have that information. But what about other accounts?

I have seen conflicting information on the web. Some say banking info is private, while others say creditors will send letters to all the local banks, looking for a hit. But would a bank really reveal that information in response to a letter? Wouldn't that be almost like giving out info to a phishing attempt?

These days, anybody with a computer can generate a professional-looking letterhead and claim to be Joe Shyster, Attorney at Law, representing Slimeball JDB, which has a judgment against Jane Doe, and asking if Jane Doe has an account at a bank. Wouldn't the bank be risking violations of privacy law, and liability, by revealing that information? At a minimum, wouldn't the bank have to verify that Joe Shyster is really an attorney licensed to practice in the state, that his office is at the address on the letter, that he does in fact represent Slimeball, and that Slimeball really has a judgment against Jane Doe. And what bank would devote the resources to do that simply in response to a letter?

And what about a case like this: Tom A. Smith and Tom B. Smith, father and son, live at the same address and have separate checking accounts at the same bank. The son is the debtor, but the bank releases the father's account info because the lawyer's letter said the judgment was against Tom Smith, 123 Main St. And the father's account gets levied. Wouldn't the father be able to sue the bank?

I know the banks must comply with a court order. But it costs the creditor money to get a court order against a specific bank, so it wouldn't be cost-effective for them to get a court order for every bank in town on the hopes of finding an account.

These are just my speculations. If anybody has accurate information in this regard, please post.




SC

Posts: 3618
Credits: 36402.4

Sub: #1 Hi Protecting bank accounts As far as I know, the creditor
Tue, 04/28/2009 - 03:47

Hi Protecting bank accounts

As far as I know, the creditors can trace your bank account through your social security number. Now, it is not that any creditor can trace your bank account. Creditors need to bring judgment against you to garnish your account in order to trace your account. If there is judgment against you, it will not be considered a phishing attempt.




SOAPLADY


Debt Samaritan
Posts: 17188
Credits: 474436.63869987

Sub: #2 No, creditors cannot trace anything with social security numbers
Tue, 04/28/2009 - 03:55

No, creditors cannot trace anything with social security numbers...they have no access to any data base.

They simply send copies of the garnishment order to all the banks in your area until they get a hit. Fairly simple...most people bank close to home.




Unregistered

Sub: #3 if you have a joint acct. can the bank hold money for that debt
Tue, 04/28/2009 - 12:05

if you have a joint acct. can the bank hold money for that debt collector even though the debt is not in the other persons name.




SOAPLADY


Debt Samaritan
Posts: 17188
Credits: 474436.63869987

Sub: #4 anything in a joint account is fair game.
Tue, 04/28/2009 - 12:07

anything in a joint account is fair game.




DebtCruncher

Posts: 2298
Credits: 26979.080293007

Sub: #5 You might be surprised to know that the privacy laws regarding f
Tue, 04/28/2009 - 16:13

You might be surprised to know that the privacy laws regarding financial data (Gramm Leach Bliley Act) specifically allow the release of information when it pertains to collection/enforcement of a credit transaction. Therein, you basically have no privacy rights when your information is released in the ordinary course of business for collection purposes.

That being said, there is no master database a creditor can go to find your bank account. But they can use various methods. For example, I might pull your credit report and see that you're current on your car payments. So then I go get a subpoena against that lender, and demand they produce any records relating to payments you've made to them. If you've paid them by check, now I have your bank info.

Now I've only dealt through actual legal process by my attorney. I don't think the Joe Shyster you reference would be able to obtain such information without having a judgment first.

Quote:
But it costs the creditor money to get a court order against a specific bank, so it wouldn't be cost-effective for them to get a court order for every bank in town on the hopes of finding an account.

Courts won't issue a "blanket" order that covers every bank in town. A plaintiff has to file against a specfic third party, and so they would literally have to file separate citations for every bank they wanted to check on.




Unregistered

Sub: #6 Just wondering how creditors can track down your cell phone numb
Mon, 05/18/2009 - 19:23

Just wondering how creditors can track down your cell phone number when it is unlisted?




onebigasstruck2
Posts: 49
Credits: 1130.8

Sub: #7 Quote:Just wondering how creditors can track down your cell phon
Mon, 05/18/2009 - 20:38

Quote:
Just wondering how creditors can track down your cell phone number when it is unlisted?


What kind of phone is it and where did you buy it?
Not that I want to know but I guarantee you screwed up there somewhere.

I used to get 20 or so calls a day. Then I went to that big retail store and got a pay as you go phone. I activated it online with bogus info, I refill the minutes with my bank card. I never got one call from someone I didn't give the number to.

Oh yea, don't ever, ever call a creditor from your phone, they will make record of the number and pass it around to all your creditors if you have more than one.




onebigasstruck2
Posts: 49
Credits: 1130.8

Sub: #8 Heres ONE, JUST ONE company that can provide CA's and creditors
Mon, 05/18/2009 - 20:42

Heres ONE, JUST ONE company that can provide CA's and creditors with your bank account info. http://www.jcsusa.com/




Unregistered

Sub: #9 A few weeks ago, I made attempts to take care of my delinquent c
Wed, 09/30/2009 - 09:47

A few weeks ago, I made attempts to take care of my delinquent credit card balance. The credit card is named after my banking institution. During the conversation on the phone, the woman who worked for the creditor said, "You have enough money in your account to make the payment and your paying your other credit cards." After I got off the phone, I wondered if the conversation was unethical. Can a creditor tap into my personal account? What are my rights and how do I complain about this situation?




bea2ls

Posts: 3840
Credits: 37055.9

Sub: #10 um as far as i know they know your bank if you pay them by check
Wed, 09/30/2009 - 09:54

um as far as i know they know your bank if you pay them by check, etc. than they send everything to the sheriff's office who can request your account number for a court order to levy it. i could be wrong and someone collect me if i am but i am pretty sure that is how it's done.




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