PA 07-111—sSB 1151

Banks Committee

Judiciary Committee

Planning and Development Committee

AN ACT CONCERNING ALIAS TAX WARRANTS AND EXECUTIONS AGAINST DEBTS DUE TO JUDGMENT DEBTORS SERVED UPON FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS

SUMMARY: This act prohibits tax collectors or serving officers from serving alias tax warrants or executions relating to a single person or business on more than one financial institution at a time. The act also prohibits a collector from serving, or directing others to serve, more than 15 alias tax warrants on one financial institution in the same day without first confirming that the taxpayers have funds in that institution. It sets out the procedures for obtaining this confirmation. Finally, it makes conforming and technical changes.

EFFECTIVE DATE: October 1, 2007

SEQUENTIAL SERVICE OF ALIAS TAX WARRANTS AND OTHER BANK EXECUTIONS

The act prohibits a tax collector or officer from serving alias tax warrants, or copies, relating to one taxpayer on more than one financial institution at a time. The act specifies that the officer or collector cannot serve the same warrant on another institution until receiving confirmation from the first institution that the taxpayer has no funds available.

For executions in general, the act prohibits officers from serving more than one financial institution execution, or copies, per judgment debtor (natural persons and businesses) at a time. It prohibits officers from serving the same execution on another institution until they receive confirmation from the first institution that there are insufficient funds available to satisfy the judgment. Under the law, officers must serve executions relating to natural persons within seven days of receiving them. Under prior law, officers could make subsequent demands on other institutions without waiting for a response from the first institution.

The tax collector or serving officer can assume the taxpayer does not have funds in the financial institution if the collector or officer does not receive a response from the institution within 20 days of service. In that case, the collector or officer may serve another financial institution. For executions in general, serving officers can take such an action if a response is not received within 25 days.

REQUESTS FOR INFORMATION

Content and Delivery

The act requires a collector or officer who wants to serve more than 15 alias tax warrants on one financial institution on the same day to first confirm that the institution holds funds for the taxpayers. The collector must do so by serving the institution with a request for information on the taxpayers in question. The act prevents collectors and officers from serving these alias tax warrants on an institution unless they have received a response to a request for information from the institution 180 days or less before the date of service. A tax collector or serving officer can submit a request for information even if one is not required. The content, delivery, and financial institution response must be the same as if it were mandatory.

The request must be in writing and include (1) the taxpayers' names and last-known addresses; (2) the address or fax number to which the response can be sent; (3) in the case of a request by fax, the serving officer's name, address, judicial district, badge number, and phone number; and (4) a notice commanding the institution to report the information according to law. The request for information can include up to 250 taxpayers.

It must be (1) delivered or mailed, first class postage prepaid, to an office that the financial institution designates and makes available or (2) faxed, as long as it is sent using the number and to the department or recipient the institution designates.

The act requires financial institutions with offices in the state to designate an office, fax number, and recipient or department for these purposes and make this information available to tax collectors and serving officers (1) upon request and (2) by mailing or delivering it to the State Marshal Commission and to the tax collector in each municipality in which the financial institution has an office. An institution can change this information as long as it mails the updated designations to the tax collectors and the State Marshal Commission at least 15 days before the changes are effective. The act allows tax collectors or serving officers to serve the request for information on any office of the financial institution located in Connecticut if the institution fails to (1) assign the designations or (2) make them available as required.

Response to Request for Information

The act specifically authorizes financial institutions to disclose otherwise confidential financial information in response to a request for information. When the institution receives a request it must respond either (1) that it does not hold any of the taxpayers' money or (2) with a list of the taxpayers' names for which it holds funds. It may also respond that additional information is necessary to make a determination with respect to a particular taxpayer if it is unable to do so based on the information supplied with the request.

If the request for information covers fewer than 100 taxpayers, the institution has five business days after receiving it to mail, deliver, or transmit the response. If the request includes between 100 and 250 names, the institution has 10 days following its receipt to do so. A request that is received after 5 p. m. on any day is considered to be received on the next business day. The act allows the institution to choose, for each name in the request, a specific day within the five- or 10-day limit on which to determine its holdings for that person. It is not responsible for reporting on the presence or absence of such holdings on any other day.

The act prohibits financial institutions from disclosing to a taxpayer listed in a request that the request has been received unless it is otherwise required by law. However, the act does not prevent the disclosure of information that is known to the public or the taxpayer or is otherwise necessary to protect the financial institution's interests.

After a request for information has been served by or on behalf of a particular town, the act prohibits collectors or officers from serving additional requests on its behalf until the financial institution has had the opportunity to respond to the first one.

Liability for Disclosure

As under existing laws for executions in general, the act specifies that financial institutions and their officers, directors, and employees are not liable for (1) any good faith act or omission or (2) errors that occur despite the existence of reasonable procedures to prevent such errors for the purpose of complying with the act's provisions. It also limits the liability of municipalities and their officers, employees and agents, and serving officers on the same grounds.

OLR Tracking: SC: KS: PF: dw