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Levies And Confidential SSNs

February 20, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 165

I am not a lawyer, I am a Judgment Broker. This article is my opinion, and not legal advice, based on my experience in California. Laws vary in each state. If you ever need any legal advice or a strategy to use, please contact a lawyer.

Every year brings in many new laws. Some laws that intend to protect everyone's privacy, have the side effect of making it more inconvenient for judgment creditors to recover judgment money. In 2012, California, and perhaps other states, introduced more laws that restrict the use of Social Security Numbers (SSNs) on all public records, including court-related forms and documents.

In California, the changes in privacy laws affect judgment enforcement in primarily two ways. The changes began in certain California counties before 2012, and are now in effect in all 58 California counties.

The first change is that abstracts of judgment may no longer list the judgment debtor's full SSN. This increases the chances that a creditor's lien at a county recorder might get missed, especially with sneaky judgment debtors that use AKAs.

The second change is that SSNs are no longer permitted on new court documents. Even more than before, creditors must carefully guard the privacy of the SSNs of judgment debtors.

In 2012, when you file wage garnishment paperwork, you will notice a new WG-035 judicial council form, which now mentions confidential SSNs. The WG-035 form is vague about how one handles and transmits the judgment debtor's SSN to an employer for service of an Earnings Withholding Order (EWO).

The "form" the WG-035 form hints about is a declaration from the judgment creditor describing the judgment debtor's social security number. The creditor's declaration and the WG-035 form, go with forms WG-001, the application for an EWO, and the WG-002, the EWO. What makes it confusing is both the WG-001 and WG-002 forms indicate that the SSN will be on the WG-035 form.

CCP 708.121(a) and 708.125(a) specify that the Employee's SSN "shall" be on the EWO application and the EWO forms, if known. However, the new WG-035 form specifies the SSN has to be on a separate form, that is "part of" the application and the EWO paperwork set.

The way to handle this, is to include a declaration of the judgment debtor's SSN and sign and date it, and include your declaration with your WG-035 form.

Give a copy of your declaration and the WG-035 to the Sheriff along with the other documents. The Sheriff or a registered process server, will serve a copy on the judgment debtor's employer, and document that the WG-035 form was served on the proof of service.

In California, the laws have not yet been updated to indicate the new declaration document. However, the creditor's declaration and SSN is required for the service of a wage garnishment. California laws still say the forms "shall" contain the SSN, if known, and the WG-035 form is part of the process.

The bottom line is, to protect the judgment debtor's social security number to the extent possible. Only the Sheriff, (if needed) a registered process server, and the employer sees the SSN, not the court or anyone else.

In California, it is a good idea to include a note in your wage levy documentation package, that the WG-035 form and your declaration, are to be returned to you or the Sheriff, and not to be returned to the court.

http://www.JudgmentBuy.com - Judgment Enforcement. The easiest, fastest, and best way to get money for your judgment.

Mark Shapiro, Judgment Matchmaker. We pay for judgment leads, and have the best quality free leads for enforcers, collection agencies and contingency collection attorneys.

Source: EzineArticles
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