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I had a bank levy executed on my bank account, they took unemployment, I thought that was illegal?

Parsippany, NJ |

New Century Financial aka Pressler & Pressler are the collectors who have had a judgement against me since 2006. This occurred yesterday. My bank claims since I made a deposit back in October ($ for a transfer to my siblings account) that my account is now commingled and fair game for a bank levy?! You can see in my bank statement how the $ deposited was transferred the same day, and anything from there on and before has just been unemployment money. I'm at a loss here, less than 2 weeks before Christmas and they drained my bank account of everything I had!

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Attorney answers 2


Generally, unemployment compensation awarded in New Jersey is exempt from garnishment or levy. N.J.S.A. 43:21-15(c) says:

"No assignment of benefits; exemptions. Any assignment, pledge, or encumbrance of any right to benefits which are or may become due or payable under this chapter shall be void; and such rights to benefits ** shall be exempt from levy, execution, attachment, or any other remedy ** whatsoever provided for the collection of debt; and benefits received by any individual, so long as they are not mingled with other funds of the recipient, shall be exempt from any remedy whatsoever for the collection of all debts except debts incurred for necessaries furnished to such individual or his dependents during the time when such individual was unemployed. Any waiver of any exemption provided for in this subsection shall be void."

The takeaway: 1) unemployment compensation is exempt from levy or garnishment; 2) so long as it is not mingled (mixed) with other funds; and 3) so long as the judgment is not based on debts incurred for necessaries while the person was unemployed.

If one believes his or unemployment compensation is exempt from levy, one can file an objection with the court. The hearing that should occur to decide the objection must occur promptly. The objection and the hearing are informal and designed so that unrepresented parties can get a fair shake. A sample objection is below, but it is for social security. It can be changed to reference unemployment compensation and cite to the law found above at: N.J.S.A. 43:21-15(c).

ALSO, one can claim their statutory exemption of up to $1000.00 on any asset that has been levied or garnished. That exemption demand and its hearing, too, are also informal for unrepresented parties. See the below links. For legal advice, consult an attorney; I am not your attorney at this time.



Thanks for all the great advice! How long from when I receive the notification of the levy do I have to submit an exemption objection?


Mr. Mullaney gave a very insightful and well research answer.

The previous information is solely for informational purposes only. If you have further questions, please contact an attorney in your area for more specific answers. Responding to your question in no way creates an attorney/client relationship, and none of the specific guarantees of privacy exist. If you have found this information helpful, kindly check the "helpful" box.

Joseph A Mullaney III

Joseph A Mullaney III



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