If a debt collector files a writ against our checking account, what can we do when ittakes out more than the sum that was listed on the writ?

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If a debt collector files a writ against our checking account, what can we do when ittakes out more than the sum that was listed on the writ?

Even though the amount they took out was less than the total we owe, they took out $80 more than what the writ stated. Also, it made a check bounce that we had written out before we knew about the writ (we weren’t informed of the writ until the day after they took the money out).

Asked on April 22, 2012 under Bankruptcy Law, Michigan

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

The error actually would most likely have been the bank's, not the debt collector's--if the writ indicated the correct amount, it was the bank, acting on the writ, which took out too much money. You could ask the bank to reimburse the extra and also pay any costs you incurred due to the error (e.g. if the check bounced only because the extra $80 was taken out; you could seek any dishonored check fees, interest or late payments from not being able to make payment with that check, etc.). If they will not do this voluntarily, you may be able to sue the bank, though it is far from clear that would be worthwhile to do so.

You have no claim for a bounced check caused by a writ being executed, unless that bounce was, as stated, due to too much being taken out. That's because there is no legal claim against a bank for executing a legal writ--the bank did nothing wrong in executing the writ, so long as it committed no errors in the process.


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