Can a judgement creditor attacha debtor’sincome tax refund?

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Can a judgement creditor attacha debtor’sincome tax refund?

I am a landlord and I recently won a judgement in court. I can garnish the tenant’s wages, but what about their income tax return?

Asked on December 28, 2010 under Bankruptcy Law, Pennsylvania

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

You can't take ther actual refund.  It will be sent the debtor directly by the government. The general rule is that a creditor (other than the government and only in limited cases) cannot seize or garnish such monies directly.  However, once your debtor do receive it and deposits it into a bank account, for example, then as long as you have a valid judgement against them, you can garnish such funds.  The fact is that, you can garnish any other non-exempt funds in it has well.

At this point you should discuss all of this with an attorney that specializes in collection matters.  They can best guide you through all state procedures and requirements for the garnishment of a bank account.


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