Is Wells Fargo / Wachovia violating the Uniform Enforcement of Foreign Judgment Act?

Discussion in 'Other Debt, Collection, Garnishment' started by jfriel, Jan 6, 2011.

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  1. jfriel

    jfriel Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Notice of Levy/Writ Execution from California
    Our location and jurisdiction is: Florida
    CA Small Court Judgment for 9k

    Last week a local California Sheriff delivered a copy of Writ of Execution to a FL business account, (the account is with Wells Fargo / Wachovia). That resulted in a debit to the account in the amount of $5k (all of the remaining balance in the account).

    The writ of execution was issued by a California small court after the FL business failed to answer the plaintiff's claim within the time allowed, and the California court entered a default Judgment against the business.

    We believe that Wells Fargo shouldn't have released the funds as the business and bank account are located in FL and the Notice of Levy is from a CA judgment.

    Communication sent to the Bank on our behalf:
    Upon review of the notice of levy issued to Wells Fargo from a California court we believe this is not a valid collection of debt from a Florida corporation. In releasing funding from the FL resident’s account, a Florida account held by a Florida Corporation, upon receipt a California Notice of Levy, Wells Fargo is in violation of the Uniform Enforcement of Foreign Judgment Act, Fla. Stat. § 55.501, et seq.

    This California notice of levy issued to Wells Fargo has not been domesticated in Florida as the Uniform Enforcement of Foreign Judgment Act legislates. Domestication is the first step to collecting a foreign judgment in Florida. It is the process by which an out-of-state judgment is "recognized" and becomes enforceable in Florida. The domestication process is governed by Florida Statute. Florida has adopted the Uniform Enforcement of Foreign Judgment Act. Additionally, a Florida licensed attorney is required to complete this process.

    This is the response we received from Wells Fargo Bank:
    This responds to your letter regarding Wells Fargo Bank’s compliance with a valid Notice of Levy/Wirt of Execution.

    We regret that you disagree with our action. Perhaps it would help if we explained that Wells Fargo/Wachovia Bank is a national banking association with many branch offices located throughout the United States. Wells Fargo/Wachovia customers can access the funds in their accounts and make deposits to their accounts through any of these branch offices. You would have access to your funds in a Wells Fargo/Wachovia branch office in Florida, as well as a Wells Fargo branch office in California. Given the accessibility of bank funds via our national network of branch offices, Wells Fargo is legally completed to accept legal process at our branches absent state law to the contrary.

    Please also note pursuant to the terms of the Deposit Agreement and Disclosures between a Wells Fargo/Wachovia account holder and Wells Fargo/Wachovia, the Bank “may accept and act on legal process that we believe is valid, whether served in person, by mail, or by facsimile transmission, at any location of the Bank”

    Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. properly attached your funds in response to a valid Notice of Levy/Wirt of Execution. The funds have been turned over to the Sacramento County Sheriff.

    As the levy issuer failed to domesticate the judgment in the Florida courts, we believe Wells Fargo is in violation of the Uniform Enforcement of Foreign Judgment Act, Fla. Stat. § 55.501,

    What is your opinion on Wells Fargo’s decision to execute this writ of levy?

    Can anything be done legally in order to get the funds returned to the FL business account?

    Thanks in advance,
  2. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    Hire a lawyer.
    My opinion doesn't matter.
    But, if I were a Florida judge, I'd rule in your favor to reverse the levy.
    It is extremely hard to obtain a levy on funds in FL and TX.
    They are the tow most debtor friendly states in the nation.
    I say the bank erred in allowing the CA sheriff to attach your funds deposited in a FL bank.

    It isn't about BoA being a national bank, it is about a CA court not having jurisdiction over a FL person/citizen, which includes coprprate entities.
    This appears to violate certain constitutional protections and guarantees.
    If it were me, I'd file an action before federal court seeking to reverse the BoA action.
    A FL court might hear the issue.
    Speak to a lawyer (or two) and see what they say.
    You also appear to have an action against BoA.

    I did some pro bono work in a similar matter for an elderly lady here in TX.
    It involved a national banking association attaching her funds for a old judgment on behalf of sham collector.
    The difference is that all of her funds in that account derived from social security benefits and military survivor's pensions, as well as her Texas Teacher's retuirement funds.
    Needless to say the bank spewed an excuse similar to the one you received.
    A federal judge ruled otherwise.
    The little old widow lady got all of her funds back, plus a nice little supplement to drop the matter adn avoid the wrath of a federal jurist.

    Get thee to a lawyer man or lawyer woman and see if you can engage one of them to "stir things up for you"!
    Good luck!
    jfriel likes this.
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