Levies on Motor Vehicles NJ
Before the Special Civil Part Officer levies on a motor vehicle, the judgment creditor’s attorney or the judgment creditor, if not represented by an attorney, can provide helpful information to the Officer, such as a title lien search reflecting that the name of owner of the motor vehicle is the same name that appears on the goods and chattel execution and that there are no registered lienholders on the motor vehicle. There are two options for levying on a motor vehicle:
1. Actual Levy by Seizure
The judgment creditor’s attorney or the judgment creditor, if they are not represented by an attorney, must file or authorize the Officer to file on their behalf a title lien search form (DO-22 Motor Vehicle Commission Form that costs $15) before a motor vehicle can be physically levied upon. The motor vehicle’s year, make and VIN # are required in order to complete this form. The lien search results will reflect the existence, if any, of a registered lienholder. The judgment creditor or the judgment creditor’s attorney, if they have an attorney, should provide the Special Civil Part Officer with a letter or other document stating that the judgment creditor will hold the Special Civil Part Officer harmless for any damages that may result from the seizure of the automobile and that they will be responsible to satisfy the registered lienholder’s interests, if any, in the event the proceeds from any subsequent sale do not satisfy the registered lienholder’s lien.
The judgment creditor’s attorney or judgment creditor, if they do not have an attorney, is responsible for making arrangements with an in-county towing company to be present at the time of the levy, to tow the vehicle to a storage facility in the county and to pay the storage fees that accumulate pending the judicial sale. The company must be bonded to cover the value of the vehicle and agree to store the vehicle in the county after the levy has been made. If the Special Civil Part Officer has reason to believe that a breach of the peace may occur during the physical levy, the Officer should contact the local police department and ask that a police officer be present. After making the levy, the Special Civil Part Officer must file a copy of their goods and chattel writ of execution along with a completed Motor Vehicle Commission SS-55 form with the Motor Vehicle Commission. The Motor Vehicle Commission will then record the judgment creditor’s levy for 24 months and require the judgment debtor to surrender title papers upon proper sale of the motor vehicle (See Appendix F, Section II(H)(4)). The Officer is required to also send the Notice to Debtor form to the judgment debtor, judgment creditor or their attorney and the Special Civil Part Clerk’s Office.