Levy or seizure of financial assets
Financial institution data matching is a tool the child support office uses to find financial assets owned by parents who owe past due payments, also called arrears. The data match tool compares parents' information with data from financial institutions. The child support office can seize, or levy, financial assets, including money in bank accounts, to pay child support arrears.
The child support office may do this if all of the following are true. The parent:
- Owes child support arrears in an amount at least five times the total monthly support obligation; or if the case is arrears-only, total arrears must be at least $100
- Is, or will be, subject to either a state or federal tax offset
- Is not complying with a written payment plan, approved by the court, a child support magistrate or the child support office.
Examples of financial institutions are banks, credit unions and other organizations that collect and handle funds.
The child support office will notify the parent that the financial institution will freeze the parent's assets for up to 45 days. The parent will not have access to or use of frozen funds. Deposits made into the account after the levy is put in place will be available for use.
Contesting a levy
The parent can contest the levy within the 45-day freeze period. The parent may file a motion asking the court to release all or part of the assets frozen by the levy.
Some funds are exempt from this type of levy. The parent can ask the county child support office to resolve the matter without a hearing if the parent can document that some or all of the levied assets are traceable to:
- Public assistance
- A minor child's earnings
- A joint account holder
- Other exempt funds.
If the worker determines that the levied funds are not exempt, the parent can still contest the levy in court.
The child support office will not levy a parent's financial assets if any of the following is true:
- The case does not meet the criteria above.
- A court order prohibits the levy of financial assets.
- The financial assets are exempt from the levy.
State laws can be found on the Minnesota Office of the Revisor website.
- 42 United States Code, section 666a(17)
- 42 United States Code, section 669a
- Minnesota Statutes, section 550.37
- Minnesota Statutes, sections 552.01 through 552.06
- Minnesota Statutes, section 13B.06
- Minnesota Statutes, section 13.46
- Minnesota Statutes, section 256.978
- Minnesota Statutes, section 548.091