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Steven  K.
Steven K., Family Law Attorney
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 2332
Experience:  I have practiced family law since 1996, focusing on child custody and domestic violence
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It has been a couple of years since we talked but I need

Customer Question

Hi Steven,
It has been a couple of years since we talked but I need your advice again.
Background: My ex was able to win a judgement against me for about $110K having to do with retirement plan split after our divorce. This was not a Marital Support judgement but a money judgement that court granted her. I have been making very small payments to her at about $100 a month just to keep the courts happy that I am trying to pay her.
Today I received a notice of levy, Under Writ of execution (money judgement) against a retirement account that I have with Flagstar Bank in Michigan. The money they discovered in that account is actually my retirement account and it is an IRA. The Levy was mailed to my old address on the 19th of February and I did not receive it unitl today. It says I have 15 days from the date of the mailing to respond which is ridiculous since it took over 10 days to get to me. I have several questions:
1- How much time do I really have to respond to this Levy? Given it was mailed on 2-19 and I did not get it till today.
2- I was told that my retirement benefits (CCP 704.110 and 704.115) are exempt from such judgements and hence I should be able to respond that that account is exempt from judgement.
3- The account is with a bank called Flagstar Bank which is headquartered in Michigan (the reason I chose them was that they said their investment bank has no offices in California. They only have a Loan office in California and it is not associated with the investment bank but that is the branch that the Sheriff served the Levy with. Can they actually put a Levy on that account given that it is not a california bank or account? Is there anything I can do to block it for that reason?
4- They have included a "financial Statement (wage garnishment - Enforcement of Judgement)" form with questions about my income, assets, etc. Do I have to respond to that?
Thanks for your help. Please respond as soon as you can in case I have to file this before Friday of this week. Thanks. Ron Firooz
Submitted: 9 months ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Steven K. replied 9 months ago.

It looks like Ievr and Barrister helped you with that issue. I don't find any questions you asked that were answered by me.

1. You still have to respond within the fifteen days.

2. Is the IRA levy for division of that IRA or for enforcement of some other property division? The actual IRA can definitely be divided. As I read the statute, enforcement of another family law judgment through the IRA, however, can only be done if it is a child support or spousal support judgment. You can file a Claim of Exemption to object to the levy.

3. I do not believe that the fact that the IRA is in an account outside of California prevents it from being levied. Generally, states give full faith and credits to judgments from other states.

4. Unless there is a letter citing an authority that requires you to fill out those forms, you should not have to, by law. If there is a letter, please feel free to attach it and I can review it. Thank you.

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