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What are the laws for bank garnishment on Ohio?

Columbus, OH |

I received an Affidavit and notice of garnishment from the court. It lists my bank (US Bank) as holder of bank accounts in my name….which they are. My question is do they freeze my accounts or do they only take what is on the affidavit? I do have enough to cover the amount plus anything that will be coming back on the account. The garshiment dept is closed until tomorrow so I can't call to find out. What is the procedure and laws for this. I'm in Ohio. Also my bank account address and the address where the Affidavit was mailed is different. They are both my addresses but wondering if that affects anything. They did get a judgement and I set up payments but had a loss of income so I couldn't pay it. Any help will be greatly appreciated.

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Attorney answers 3


They will withdraw the amount due under the affidavit so long as they leave in at least 400.00. The addresses will not matter


The bank will send to the clerk of courts the amount needed to satisfy the judgment if you have funds to cover it. That will terminate your case. The fact is that they have your funds and the procedural issues probably are not worth fighting over at this point.

Fred Berkemer


Although bank policies determine the actual processing of the attachment, it has been my experience that the account will be 'frozen' until such time as the attachment proceeds are releases back to the Clerk of Court for processing. You bank should debit your account for the amount in excess of $450.00 (Ohio cash/bank account exemption) up to the total amount stated in the bank account attachment as the probable amount due and owing (total judgment balance). If you have more in your account than the judgment balance, then you should still have the $450.00 plus the excess amount in your account after the attachment is processed.

HOWEVER, you need to determine if the source of the funds deposited into the account are protected by a specific exemption. In most instances the following sources of income are exempt from attachment or garnishment: Worker’s Compensation Benefits; Unemployment Compensation, Ohio Works First (OWF), Disability Assistance (DFA) administered by the Ohio Department of Human Services, Social Security retirement or disability benefits, Supplemental Security Income (S.S.I.), Veteran’s Benefits, Black Lung Benefits, Tax Refunds attributed to the Earned Income Credit or Child Tax Credit.

If ANY of the money is exempt, then you must request a hearing to have an opportunity to prove to the court/magistrate that some or all of the funds are exempt from attachment. Take bank account statements, SSI award letters, deposit slips, EFT confirmations or any other proof of the exemption.

Finally, you can challenge the exemption if some or all of the bank account balance was 'somebody else's money.' This is common for spousal joint accounts. I had multiple cases in the past where a bank account attachment was filed but we were able to 'get the money back' by proving it was the NON-JUDGMENT spouse's employment income in the account. Or, we were able to use this argument to negotiate a settlement of the entire judgment by agreeing to a reduced amount a satisfaction of the entire debt.

I hope this helps and good luck!

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