How can you locate bank accounts legally?


Quick Answer

To locate a bank account legally, purchase a product or service, and pay by check if the subject in question owns a store, suggests the National Check Fraud Center. Hire a third party to perform the purchase if the subject may recognize you and only if there's no safety risk involved. This method is a legal way to find out a debtor's bank account number, which may appear in your bank statement after the purchase.

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Full Answer

Collecting payment after getting a money judgment in the court against a borrower who refuses to pay is a legal reason for obtaining information about the debtor's bank account, explains Nolo. To collect the payment, you may take funds from the debtor's deposit accounts in banks, accounts in credit unions, savings and loans by garnishing the accounts.

Having the debtor provide a copy of a check that he wrote is a legal way to acquire his bank and account number, according to Nolo. This is a recommended method if you and the debtor previously maintained a business relationship. Alternatively, obtain a credit application or other financial forms completed by the debtor.

Debtors who are not business owners may have exempt funds, such as wages, public benefits, retirement plans and insurance proceeds, which are protected against creditors if they are placed in personal accounts, notes Nolo. However, you may levy personal accounts if the exempt funds are combined with nonexempt funds.

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