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Bank levy to satisfy judgement in NC

Kannapolis, NC |

A credit card compamy has a judgement against me. It is just against me and not my husband.If and when a levy is imposed on our joint checking account, besides taking all the money in it, my savings account and credit line, can the levy also take funds that are in a savings account in my husband's name only, as well as a line of credit on our house that is also only in his name?

Attorney Answers 3


  1. Best answer

    A garnishment or levy can be directed only to property that is owned by the judgment debtor. Your husband is not a judgment debtor, so his savings account should be safe. A line of credit is not an asset, it is a liability, so there is nothing to be taken there, even if it were in your name.

    As to the joint account--NC law and how the account is/was created will govern. In my jurisdiction, if the account were opened as You and Husband, as husband and wife, it is clear that the account is held as tenants by the entirety: you own 100% of the account and your husband also owns 100% of the account, and as stated before, your husband's property can not be taken. In my jurisdiction, there is a presumption that if the words that "tenants by the entirety" is not use when opening account that there is still a TBE.

    If the account were opened by only one of you and then changed to add the other spouse, THEN it is not a TBE, but even then, in my state, your husband could assert his ownership interest in the money in the account. If he could show that his paycheck is deposited to the account, and it is the entire source of all money in the account, and you contribute nothing to the account, a judge would have to decide if the funds were subject to the garnishment. If you also contributed to the account, then a judge would have to decide how much of the account were yours, subject to the garnishment, and how much was his, not subject to the garnishment.

    Therefore, you should consult with a NC attorney to have an in-depth explanation as to NC law and its application to your circumstances.

    I hope you found this response to be of assistance. This response shall not be considered the rendering of legal advise but instead a general response to a general question. While Avvo is a wonderful resource, nothing can be a substitute for an in-depth consultation with an attorney in the jurisdiction in which the law is to be applied. This response shall not be deemed to create an attorney-client relationship, nor shall it create an obligation on the part of the attorney to respond to further inquiry from the questioner.


  2. Joint accounts are definately vulnerable to being seized by a judgment creditor. An account solely held by a person who is not named in the judgment would not be vulnerable at all.

    Hope this perspective helps!


  3. They cannot get money from the bank on a line of credit, only funds in depository accounts.

    Disclaimer: This answer does not constitute legal advice. I am admitted in the States of New York, New Jersey and Massachusetts only and make no attempt to opine on matters of law that are not relevant to those three States. This advice is based on general principles of law that may or may not relate to your specific situation. Facts and laws change and these possible changes will affect the advice provided here. Consult an attorney in your locale before you act on any of this advice. You should not rely on this advice alone and nothing in these communications creates an attorney client relationship.

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