When your institution is presented with a garnishment order for funds from a customer’s accounts, there is little time to consult with bank counsel to determine how or whether to respond to that claim. There can be legal limits on your time to respond, privacy and other confidentiality issues to resolve, constraints on the funds that can be remitted or held, required forms for your response, and other knotty issues to resolve before you act on the claim.
A failure to understand the third party’s claim, a mistake in determining what funds can or cannot be remitted, or a failure to meet a legal deadline for completing the response to these claims can put the financial institution at risk for penalties or damages, or even for the full amount of the claim. One large bank’s procedures prompted a May 2022 CFPB enforcement order with a $10 million penalty attached. To avoid such mistakes, financial institutions should have well-researched and clearly written policies and procedures for the intake and processing of garnishments, for providing timely and proper responses to them, and for notifying its customers, when permitted.
This webinar is intended to assist financial institutions in identifying their responsibilities for handling garnishment orders and developing written policies and procedures for processing claims which their legal counsel may review and approve. Both state law and federal law are critical in this effort, and procedures must ensure compliance with both.
The program is not a substitute for legal advice on a particular fact situation. Because state laws vary widely, this presentation will focus on federal claims; the discussion of state rules is necessarily general and will be used to illustrate how a state rule may influence an institution’s handling of these claims. Accordingly, the discussion is not focused on the laws of any one state, nor will it provide guidance for handling specific states’ requirements. It will, however, illustrate how critical it is to understand state requirements that can affect a bank’s procedures. Such issues must be considered with the assistance of an institution’s legal counsel.
On completion of this program attendees should be:
- familiar with the federal claims most likely to be made against customer funds,
- able to develop a written, systematic plan for handling federal and state third party claims in a timely, well documented fashion and
- encouraged to present their written procedures for review and approval by legal counsel.
WHO SHOULD ATTEND:
Individuals in charge of designing, revising or auditing a procedure for handling third party claims against customer funds are the expected attendees.