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Bank levies can be one of the scariest things to go through, in large part because they inspire so many questions. After all, you may be wondering what a bank levy is and how to stop a levy on your bank account, among dozens of other questions.

The best thing to do in this situation is to stay as calm as possible, work to understand what is going on and your options, and seek professional help.

What is a Bank Levy?

A levy on your bank account is when your accounts are frozen to collect on a debt you may owe. Oftentimes, the term is referred to when someone owes tax money, and the IRS levies their accounts to claim what is owed. It differs from a lien in that a lien is a claim that the government puts on a property that you own for not paying your property taxes. This means they both deal with having not paid taxes for one reason or another, but a levy targets your bank accounts, while a lien targets your property. To get a lien released or if you need to know how to stop a levy on your bank account it is best to see a tax attorney.

Why is a Bank Levy Put on Your Account?

Banks are going to comply with creditors that you owe money to before they help you in most cases. This is true regardless of who the creditor is, but even more so when the creditor is the IRS or another government agency. They put a levy on your account to be able to withdraw funds that you owe them, and forcibly make you pay them back. Oftentimes, you will not receive notice that this is happening.

It can become a long and difficult process from there. For many people, it’s also a confusing one, because they likely didn’t mean to make a mistake in their payments or thought there weren’t any issues. This is also something that doesn’t simply go away, and in many cases, you’ll find yourself being ignored by a larger institution or too overwhelmed to make inroads to get the levy removed from your accounts, leaving you to wonder how to stop a levy on your bank account.

How to Stop a Levy on Your Bank Account

The first thing to do is to hire a tax attorney or tax attorneys. If possible, the best tax attorney available. This does a couple of things for you immediately. The first is that it will help you understand the situation at hand and what happens next. For most people, this is the first time they’re going through a complicated and stressful process. It’s overwhelming to the person having their accounts levied. However, tax lawyers who have seen it many times before, understand the process and what needs to be done to help you. This will calm you down, while their experience will lend itself to your success. The second key thing that a lawyer can do for you is to help give you a voice that creditors will listen to, which gets you into the door.

From there, you have a few options to continue to fight the bank levy. The first is to prove that the creditor is in error or there was identity theft. If that doesn’t work, or you don’t have sufficient proof, you can negotiate with the creditor, contest the suit, or even close your bank account. Again, this is where a tax lawyer’s experience is helpful, as they can help you with things like filing a claim against a wrongful levy, which should be done within two years in the case of an IRS seizure.

When dealing with a bank levy it’s important to stay calm and not get overwhelmed by the situation. Listen to your tax lawyers and you’ll quickly learn how to stop a levy on your bank account, and the quicker you’re able to stop that bank levy, the quicker you’ll be able to get back to normal.