Bank Account Levy and Liens Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)          back to main FAQ


 
What authority does the state have to levy my account?

All states are federally mandated to use this enforcement collection remedy.  If there is a court-ordered judgment or the noncustodial parent is in arrears in an amount equal to 12 months or more of past due support, DCSS may issue a levy to collect the amount owed. 

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Why was this action taken if I am paying my child support?

Arizona and federal law authorizes Division of Child Support Services (DCSS) to use administrative enforcement actions to collect past due child support even if you are making current monthly child support and arrearage payments (including wage withholding payments) to reduce your child support debt.  Past due support (arrears and interest) accrue when the current support obligation is not paid in full during the month it is due.  This enforcement remedy may occur again if your case continues to meet levy criteria allowed by law.

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How long will the levy stay on my account?

Once you receive a Notice of Levy from the financial institution, you have 15 days from the date the financial institution mailed the Notice of Levy to pay the amount of past due child support, or to dispute the action.  The financial institution is instructed to leave a minimum of $250.00 in your account.  Any funds over $250.00 and up to the past due amount written in the Notice may be levied by your bank.

Only the qualifying amount of funds in your account on the day it was frozen will actually be levied.  Once your account is levied, you may have regular banking access to your account for funds above the amount held.  The funds will be held by the financial institution until Division of Child Support Services (DCSS) submits a Notice of Surrender to the financial institution to forward the funds to DCSS.

A levy may be placed on a business account owned by a sole proprietor who owes past due child support.  The sole proprietorship is a business in which one person owns all the assets of the business.  The sole proprietor is responsible for all of the debts of the business.

You may avoid payment of the levied assets by paying the levied amount directly to DCSS within 15 days after the date of the mailing of the Notice of Levy by the financial institution.  Once full payment is made by cashier’s check, personal check, or money order and the funds clear the bank, a Release of Levy will be issued to the financial institution.  It may take from 5 to 10 days for the payment to clear.  It may take 24 to 48 hours for the Release of Levy to be processed by your financial institution.  You may send your payment to: 

Division of Child Support Services (DCSS)
P.O. Box 40408
Phoenix, AZ 85067

ATTN:  Administrative Asset Seizure Unit

If you do not owe past due support, you do not owe the amount being levied, or if there has been a mistake in identity, you may contest this action by requesting an Administrative Review from DCSS.

 
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How can you seize my business account?

A levy may be placed on a business account owned by a sole proprietor who owes past due child support.  The sole proprietorship is a business in which one person owns all the assets of the business.  The sole proprietor is responsible for all of the debts of the business.

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How can I have the levy released?
 
You may avoid payment of the levied assets by paying the levied amount directly to Division of Child Support Services (DCSS) within 15 days after the date of the mailing of the Notice of Levy by the financial institution.  Once full payment is made by cashier’s check, personal check, or money order and the funds clear the bank, a Release of Levy will be issued to the financial institution.  It may take from 5 to 10 days for the payment to clear.  It may take 24 to 48 hours for the Release of Levy to be processed by your financial institution.  You may send your payment to: 
Division of Child Support Services (DCSS)
P.O. Box 40408
Phoenix, AZ 85067
ATTN:  Administrative Asset Seizure Unit
If you do not owe past due support, or you do not owe the amount being levied, or if there has been a mistake in identity, you may contest this action by requesting an Administrative Review from DCSS.

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How do I contest the levy? What is an administrative review?

An Administrative Review is a written request by the noncustodial parent or other persons known or believed to have an interest in the property to contest or dispute the levy action.  The written request for an Administrative Review must be sent to Division of Child Support Services (DCSS) within 15 days after the date of mailing of the Notice of Levy by the financial institution.  

The Administrative Review will be completed within 10 business days from the date of the request.  The Administrative Review shall include a determination of the interest of the non-custodial parent in the property subject to levy, including the noncustodial parent’s contributions to any property held by the community.

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How do I request an Administrative Review?

Complete the Administrative Review form attached to the Notice of Levy/Copy to Noncustodial Parent/Other Person/Entity that was mailed to you by your financial institution.  You may also ask Division of Child Support Services (DCSS) to mail a Request for Administrative Review to you.  A Request for Administrative Review form is also located under “Application/Downloadable Forms” link on this Web site. 
The Request for Administrative Review must be in writing and signed by the requesting party.  You must include a residential and mailing address and clearly state the basis of your dispute.  Include documents such as bank statements, pay stubs, letters, copies of receipts, canceled checks, or other documents to support your claim.  The Request must be received by DCSS within 15 days after the financial institution mailed the Notice of Levy.   DCSS cannot review your case over the phone. 
Fax the completed Administrative Review form and supporting documents to DCSS.  

FAX number 602-771-8130
ATTN:  DCSS Administrative Review Unit

 Inquiries will be acknowledged or returned within one business day.

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I do not have a child support case, but a levy was placed on my account. How do I get the levy removed?

You may request an Administrative Review based on mistaken identity.  Supporting documentation must include two or more of the following:  driver license, ID card issued by a state or outlying possession of the U.S., passport, social security card, birth certificate, ID card issued by federal, state or local government agencies or entities, school ID card with a photograph, voter registration card, U.S. military ID card, U.S. Coast Guard Merchant Marine card, Native American tribal document, or other official document.

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What about bank fees due to a levy? 

The account holder should contact the bank to discuss any fees that may be charged.

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I am an account holder on a joint account that was levied, but I do not owe child support. What can I do to contest the levy?

A joint account may be levied if one of the account holders owes unpaid support.  Monies belonging to the noncustodial parent are subject to the levy.  If monies are levied that belong to an account holder other than the noncustodial parent, that person may request an Administrative Review as instructed above.  The results of the Administrative Review will determine the portion of monies belonging to the noncustodial parent (if any), and those belonging to any other account holder(s).

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How do we process a levy request, and how do we contact a financial institution?

If you are with a financial institution and have questions regarding Arizona’s partnership with Tier Technologies, please contact Tier at the Financial Asset Seizure Match Unit (FIDM) Financial Institution Hotline number 1-877-965-FIDM (3436).
If there is a court-ordered judgment or if the non-custodial parent is in arrears in an amount greater than or equal to 12 months of child support, DCSS may issue a levy to collect the amount owed.  It shall be immediately seized by the financial institution and held upon receipt of a Notice of Levy.  The funds should be paid to DCSS when the Notice/Demand to Surrender Notice is received.  The levy extends only to property possessed and obligations existing at the time of service and also attaches any other account(s) held by the non-custodial parent.
 
The Notice of Levy states that all property or rights to property, monies, and credits belonging to the non-custodial parent, or for which you are obligated to the noncustodial parent and currently in your possession, are to be levied for payment of child support delinquency.  A minimum of $250.00 should be left in the account.  Any amount over $250.00 and up to the amount written in the levy notice should be seized.

The Property Seized/Held Response Form must be completed.  This should include the signature of the representative signing the form and the date the assets were levied.  Provide the names of all account holders on each seized account.  List all accounts levied, the account type, the amount(s), and date levied.  If no funds are available, document so on the form.  The Property Seized/Held Response Form must be returned to:
Division of Child Support Services (DCSS)
Attn: FIDM Unit
Site Code 022A-1
P.O. Box 40408
Phoenix, AZ  85067

The financial institution may fax the form to DCSS.  Also fax questions on the levy process to:

FAX number 602-353-5725
Attn:  DCSS FIDM Unit – Financial Asset Seizure Match Unit

Inquiries will be acknowledged or returned within one business day.

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What is a financial institution (bank) levy?

All states are federally mandated to use this administrative enforcement collection remedy.  If there is a court ordered judgment or the noncustodial parent is in arrears in an amount equal to 12 months or more of past due support, Division of Child Support Services (DCSS) may issue a levy to collect the amount owed.   If your case meets levy criteria allowed by law, it may be reviewed for a bank levy when the noncustodial parent has funds located in a financial institution.

You will be notified of this action if additional information is needed from you. Important information that might affect the qualifying arrears balance on your case would include a change in the court order, or a legal change of custody, or direct payments you have received.  The entire process may take up to 90 to 120 days and does not guarantee that funds will be seized.

You may fax questions on your case regarding the levy process to:

        FAX number 602-353-5725
        ATT:  DCSS FIDM Unit—Financial Institution Data Match Unit

Inquiries will be acknowledged or returned within two business days.

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