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I have won a case but defendant's husband has filed bankruptcy. It is not a joint petition - can I still levy her bank account?

Los Angeles, CA |

I recently won a court case and decided to levy the debtor's bank account after many failed attempts to collect. While locating her bank information, I learned her husband has filed bankruptcy and it was recently discharged.

It is not a joint bankruptcy, but as this is a communal property state I want to confirm that I can still levy her bank account and not violate the stay.

Thank you.

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Attorney answers 1


This is a real stinky part of the law: the community property is protected by a discharge in bankruptcy. This means that you cannot levy on any community assets, e.g. bank account in the name of both spouses. You may, however, levy on the non-bankrupt spouse's separate property, if any. This assumes that you got your judgment against both spouses.



Thank you, Attorney Paul, for the clarification. My judgment is only against the non-bankrupt spouse. Would those bank accounts be considered separate property if she is not named on the account?