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Divorce & Family Law This forum is for discussing any of the legal issues involved in your divorce.

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  #1  
Old 05-28-2010, 10:10 AM
supar3 supar3 is offline
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Default Bank Garnishment~confused

Okay, my ex is 12 months behind in child support and obviously, my case is in the hands of FRO. There was a motion to change initiated in the court system, where he failed to appear or follow the instructions of the judge to supply financial statements. The most recent action FRO has taken is a bank garnishment which was done 3 weeks ago. It was my understanding that the bank would freeze the money in his account for 30 days (giving him time to appeal) and if not sucessfully appealed, the money would be released to me after the 30 days are up. I had no idea if there were any funds in the account and if so, how much. Meanwhile, the judge decided to impute the amount of child support and proceed with the motion to change without his imput due to the fact that he did not file the required documents by the deadline. This means that the amount of the arrears is now almost triple the amount FRO is going after. I just got the paperwork from the court yesterday, and called FRO this morning to let them know the new change. It was during this call that I am informed that there is no 30 day hold on the funds and that if there was money in the account at the time of the garnishment I would have recieved it by now. The fact that I have not gotten any money from the garnishment means I am not getting any at all. Now this makes no sense whatsoever. He owes roughly $14,000 and there was not even $20.00 in his account???? I asked the girl at FRO straight out if this means I am not getting any money at the end of 30 days and she said that is exactly what it means; stating this is not how bank garnishments work. However, she also did not have any information about the actual bank account other than the name of the bank. She went on to say that my ex was notified of the garnishment as was his bank, and each time he deposits money it will be redirected to FRO who will redirect it to me. He can also open a new account and just start using it instead. Now, the funny part is that on the day of the garnishment, he was out with my daughter and tried using his bank card which was rejected.

FRO's own recording states that the account will be frozen for 30 days and then the funds are released. The girl on the phone today says that this is not how it is done. Does anyone here have any experience with bank granishments who may be able to clear this up? I am so fed up with all the stuff he is getting away with and all the conflicting information I am getting.
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Old 05-28-2010, 11:03 AM
MsD MsD is offline
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Supar,

I would call the bank and speak to the Manager directly. Have all your paperwork handy while on the phone. Write down names and phone numbers for your file.

Good luck
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Old 05-28-2010, 11:29 AM
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blinkandimgone blinkandimgone is offline
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I think it would be a breach of privacy for the bank to give out any information on another person's account and they wouldn't do it - thankfully. It wouldn't be very good if just anyone - especially ex spouses - could just call up the bank and get confidential information on your bank account.
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Old 05-28-2010, 12:16 PM
supar3 supar3 is offline
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Ya, I would have to agree. I don't think a bank is going to tell me anything. I have a hard enough time getting information about my own bank account. LOL

I should mention too, and I am not sure if this makes a difference or not, but the account they garnished is a joint account he shares with his brother.
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Old 05-28-2010, 02:28 PM
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Since the people at FRO don't seem to know, at the very least the bank manager can tell you what is the bank's role when an account is garnished.

I would call anyway and get as much information as I possibly could by asking questions and taking notes. You can also ask to whom the bank is legally required to provide information in situations such as this. Better to assume something can be done than nothing at all.

Also, is your ex employed? If yes, who is his employer? If I'm not mistaken, his wages can be garnished at source.
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Old 05-28-2010, 02:54 PM
supar3 supar3 is offline
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Well I did call my uncle who is a retired bank manager in a different province (but with the same bank my ex deals with). He was unfamiliar with FRO rules, but did not think that a 30-day hold made much sense. His reasoning was that if the court says he owes the money, then he owes the money, there is no disputing that. I guess this makes sense...sort of..... He also mentioned too that it is possible my ex was tipped off and took all the money from the account beforehand, which given his history, is very likely. He is self employed, owns his own business with his brother, and has not even filed income tax to my knowledge in the last 5 years or more. Now, I did find some info on the net that states once a bank recieves a garnishment they only have 10 days to respond to FRO letting them know the situation with the account. According to the caseworker this morning, the bank had not responded at all and today is 18 days since the garnishment. They had not acknowleged the garnishment and apparently FRO was still waiting to hear something from them, which makes this even more confusing cause if you haven't heard from the bank then how do you know anything? Its soo frustrating. I wish these people all took the same training and understood the system and what it can and cannot do. My uncle mentioned too that if he received a garnishment notice and the wording wasn't exact..ie it was a joint account with two names and only one was provided to the bank, he had to refuse the garnishment by letting the agency collecting the funds know that the account at the bank did not exactly match. However, FRO was aware it was a joint account and had both parties information along with the exact account number etc. The information was black and white, FRO had all the information. He also did not have much experience with court ordered garnishments and had only dealt with government ones due to not paying income tax etc, so again did not know the protocol. He said though if he was given the info FRO had he could have seized the account, however still did not understand the point of holding the funds for 30 days. I checked again BTW to make sure I was hearing right, and the recording says the funds are held for 30 days by the bank and could be held longer if there is a dispute.

I give up.

FRO also wouldn't issue a default hearing against him until the motion to change was cleared up in court, and the judge would not hear how far behind he was in support cause it was a matter with FRO and not me.

I always hear horror stories about FRO and payors, but this time its the recipient getting the run around.
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Old 05-29-2010, 02:04 PM
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supar,

Don't give up. He hasn't filed his taxes in 5 years? Revenue Canada might be interested in this ;-)

I'm glad your uncle is able to provide you with some information, but I wouldn't go on that alone, since, as you said, he does not have enough expertise in this area.

Call the bank. Arm yourself with information. Follow up. Again. And again.

One last question, because I don't know how FRO operates: is there a specific person/contact handling your file? Beaurocracies have a way of losing track of people and things. Keep yourself and your file on top of the pile by calling until you start to get some real answers.
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Old 06-03-2010, 02:11 PM
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Bank garns at FRO is one of the enforcements they have to use before they take the payor to court for a notice of default. Even if there's nothing in the account, they still have to do it.

Not a breach of privacy at all for bank to disclose whether or not the payor has an account with them. By legislation, they are required to comply with a FRO bank garnishment. Now, that doesn't mean they act quickly on it though, that's why it can take a long time to get done, most banks don't treat it as a high priority.

Bank garns can take up to two months to do and the account can be frozen for more than 30 days as well. They freeze it for a minimum of 30 days in case there is money in transit which can be diverted to FRO for money owed.

In terms of a default hearing being delayed until a motion to change is done, that's not true. A default hearing can go on at the same time the payor and recipient are in court for a motion to change. In fact, in one case, I saw the default hearing held at 9am in the morning and the same payor was to appear for a motion to change at 10am in the same court house. FRO will proceed with a default hearing most likely because a lot of payors say there is a court date for a motion to change but never provide the actual date.
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