Ex-Sisterly Love

Today TaxMama hears from Maria from NJ, who says, “I have been out of the country for nine years and a stay at home mom. I recently had my bank accounts levied, where the only money deposited is child support directly from the New Jersey Child Support Offices. My account was levied because apparently my ex-sister in law stole my identity and ran up a whole lot of debt in my name. I am currently out of the country and with all my bank accounts levied, there is no way for me to go back (no money). The only money in those accounts was child support deposits, can that be levied? I never got any summons or notification from anyone. How is this possible? What can I do?”

Dear Maria,

Sad to say, once the money is in your bank account, it’s just money. The source doesn’t matter.

One thing you need to do is to open another bank account quickly. Preferably in another bank.
Then, contact the New Jersey Child Support Offices and give them new bank account number so you can continue to get your child support.

You don’t say who has placed the levy on your account. Is it IRS, the state of NJ, some creditor
who got a judgment against you…or…? If you don’t know, call the bank and ask them to
fax you a copy of the levy notice. There’s a phone number on it. CALL IT.

Also be sure to get the fax number of the person at the bank who’s dealing with your levy, or with your account. You’ll see why in a minute.

If the levy was from IRS, the bank must hold your money for 21 days before it sends it to IRS.
So, call IRS and ask them to put the levy on hold. Explain the situation. They will put it on hold for about 30-60 days to give you some time to start straightening this out. Ask them to FAX the levy release to the bank AND to you.

Then, give them your current address so they can send you correspondence from now on.

You didn’t get correspondence from IRS because you probably weren’t filing tax returns and never bothered to send them your current address. Most likely, all the correspondence was going to your ex-sister-in-law.

And last, but not least, you need to face your ex-sister-in-law. What a horrible, horrible person she is to put you into this kind of position! And if this woman won’t ‘fess up and help you straighten this up, you are seriously going to have to consider turning her in for identity theft and having the attorney general look at criminal prosecution.

It’s a real shame. But this kind of thing isn’t an accident. It’s deliberate and malicious behavior on her part.

Doing this, she also messed up your credit. Here’s some ways to help fix that, too.
https://www.consumer.gov/idtheft/ https://www.usdoj.gov/criminal/fraud/idtheft.html
Remember to contact the postal inspector about the mail fraud, also. She is stealing your mail.

You’re in a tough place. And it will take a long to sort out. You’re in for a bumpy ride.

And remember, you can find answers to all kinds of questions about IRS levies, and all kinds of other tax issues, free. Where? Where else? At TaxMama.com

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