If unpaid support is owed a levy can be issued to any bank that reflects an account tied to the Social Security Number of the parent paying support. This includes accounts where the parent paying support has access to the account only for cashing checks and business accounts.
Is This Legal?
The use of bank levies as an enforcement action is regulated by California Revenue & Tax Code § 19271. DCSS is required by law to issue bank levies when back support is owed and a bank account is located.
There are two types of account levies, Complaint and Non-Compliant
- A Compliant levy is issued when a person is making payments, but still owes back support equal to two months of current support. Any amount over $3500 can be attached from the bank account to pay the overdue support.
- Non-Compliant levies are issued in cases where a balance is owed and no income withholding payments are being made. All funds in the account will be attached and sent to pay the overdue support.
How Often Can This Happen?
As long as back support is owed a bank levy can be automatically issued once every 90 days. If a Child Support Worker has reason to believe funds may be available in the account sooner than 90 days, a levy can be issued to the bank outside of the automatic process.
What About Fees?
The fees charged by the bank for processing the levy and any resulting overdraft fees are charges at the discretion of the bank. We cannot tell your bank to return those fees and cannot pay those fees for you. Different banks charge different fees. You may want to shop around to locate a bank with lower overdraft and levy processing fees.
What can I do to Stop This?
You must be making monthly payments. If you are making regular monthly payments on overdue back support, we may be able to withdraw you from the Bank Levy Collection Program. Once any back support owed is paid in full your case no longer qualifies for Bank Levy Collections.
You will be required to provide three months of bank statements for your case manager to review. You may be expected to explain any deposits that do not match our understanding of your financial situation. You may also be required to pay a higher amount each month toward your account. We can only negotiate to withdraw you from the Bank Levy Collection Program if we are able to demonstrate increased collections in another way. For example, your case worker may suggest that you pay the amount that would be collected in bank fees toward your account balance each month. If you agree, your case could be withdrawn from bank levy submissions. If you are not able to increase your monthly payments, you may still be able to negotiate a withdrawal from the Bank Levy Collection Program after discussion with your case manager.