You are correct. Anything in your name alone cannot be touched (and technically in Pennsylvania it's still marital property, and still could not be touched because the judgment is not against both of you). Anything in joint names cannot be touched.
If the bank account is in both names and the judgment is only against your wife, they cannot levy on the account to satisfy their judgment. The banks have access to legal advice, if not one or two attorneys on staff and they should know the law.
As a precautionary measure, I would send a letter to one of the VP's, someone in authority, putting them on notice, so that if some clerk makes a mistake, it will be their problem, since you went the extra mile and let them know.
If, by chance, it does fall into the hands of a bank clerk and your joint account is affected, you would have a cause of action against the bank for all damages you may incur because of a mistake on the part of someone who was not informed to keep an eye on your account to be sure that no levy is placed on it.
I had a situation similar to yours where a judgment was obtained against the wife only; the Sheriff went to the marital residence and wanted to take an inventory of the wife's property for purposes of Sheriff's sale to satisfy the judgment of the creditor; I told the wife if this happens, tell the sheriff that everything in the house is jointly owned as tenants by the entirety. The Sheriff smiled at her and left, he knew he could not take any of the personal property.
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ANDREA, JD, LL.M., Taxation
Member, NY & PA Bar
DISCLAIMER: The facts stated herein are information only and are not intended, nor should be construed as legal advice or legal opinion and No Attorney-Client relationship is formed by asking questions and receiving information; laws vary from state to state and to protect your interests, you should seek local counsel
Edited by Andrea on 10/28/2009 at 1:10 AM EST