How do creditors find your bank accounts to levy?
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.