Can a judgement creditor attacha debtor’sincome tax refund?

UPDATED: Dec 28, 2010

Advertiser Disclosure

It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right legal decisions.

We strive to help you make confident insurance and legal decisions. Finding trusted and reliable insurance quotes and legal advice should be easy. This doesn’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own.

Get Legal Help Today

Compare Quotes From Top Companies and Save

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

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


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

Answered 12 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.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption