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SB 616


Enforcement of money judgments: exemptions

Senate Bill 616, authored by Senator Wieckowski and sponsored by CLICC and the East Bay Community Law Center, will reform the bank levy system for low-income California debtors. When a creditor attempts to collect debts owed by a borrower, they can get a court to automatically take money out of the borrower's paycheck, called a wage garnishment, or they can simply convince a court to seize money directly from a debtor's bank account, called a bank levy. When a creditor garnishes your wages, they can only take up to 25% of your earnings—the law says you need the rest to live. But when it comes to savings and bank levies, current California law allows creditors to seize 100% of the funds in a debtor's bank account with little or no warning; this can leave people without enough money to pay for life's most essential needs such as food, rent, and prescription medications. Senate Bill 616 will protect $2000, enough to cover life's essential needs for a few months, from being seized by a creditor who levies a bank account. For seasonal workers like farmworkers or substitute teachers, this law could make the difference between stability and homelessness, or between health and hunger. 

More information here.

Read the full text here.


Signed by Governor

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