Exceptions to creditors’ levy of bank accounts in Tennessee

Being in debt can be a very stressful situation. Having to worry about making payments that one knows cannot be made, whether due to unemployment, large medical expenditures, or other sources will wear on any Tennessee resident. Eventually, such debtors may also start to consider that their creditors may attempt to come after any property they may have. This may include real estate or personal property, and especially any ‘cash’ the debtor holds, even if it is in the form of electrons in a bank account.

When a creditor sues a debtor, if the creditor prevails, it will generally reduce the debt to a ‘judgement.’ This judgement allows the creditor to go ahead and take some legal actions to collect the money owed. One of these actions is known as a ‘levy.’ Levying something is basically to take it, or a portion of it, to satisfy the judgement. In Tennessee, however, there are certain restrictions on what a creditor can levy from one’s bank account.

For example, Tennessee recognizes a ‘homestead’ exemption for levies in the amounts of $5,000 if one owns a home alone, $7,500 if two people own it, and $25,000 if there is at least one dependent minor. Monies accrued through certain public benefits are also exempt from levying, such as disability payments, unemployment or veteran’s benefits, and social security benefits. Further, certain alimony or child support payments received may also be exempt.

Exactly what a creditor can take if he receives a judgement against a debtor will vary depending on the individual circumstances involved. Of course, one option is to file for bankruptcy before a judgement is rendered. To determine if this is a good option for any given Tennessee debtor to get out of credit card debt, the debtor may wish to consider contacting an experienced bankruptcy attorney.