Once association counsel obtains a personal Judgment against a unit owner for failure to pay maintenance fees, late fees, attorneys’ fees and costs, and other charges, we look for ways to collect on the Judgment. One method of collecting on the Judgment is by levying a unit owner’s bank accounts.
The process starts by association counsel conducting a bank account search. If the search reveals that a unit owner has a bank account, it will also provide the balance of the bank account. If the balance on the account is worth pursuing, we file an Execution against Goods and Chattels. A judge will review and sign the Execution against Goods and Chattels, authorizing a Court officer to levy on the bank account of the unit owner in an amount up to the Judgment amount, plus Court officer commissions and other Court costs. Once the Order is signed, the case is assigned to a Court officer.
The Court officer will then serve the bank with the Execution against Goods and Chattels. At that point, the bank freezes the account in the amount set forth in the Execution, or in a lesser amount if there is only a lesser amount in the bank account. The Court officer will then notify association counsel that the funds have been levied. Association counsel then files a Motion to turn over funds that were levied. The Motion places the unit owner on notice that the funds in his/her bank account are about to be turned over to the association. Once the Order to turn over funds is entered, it is served upon the Court officer, who will then forward the monies to association counsel.
Sometimes we are fortunate that a bank account has a balance high enough to satisfy the Judgment, however, more often than not, the balance at a particular time is not high enough to satisfy Judgment, so the bank account must be levied several times. We find that levying bank accounts is an effective way to collect on Judgments.