Execution from a bank account


The worst consequence of failure to pay one's own liabilities is bailiff enforcement from a bank account. Finding himself in such a situation is unpleasant not only for the debtor himself, but also for the creditor who claims his debts. Pursuant to a final court judgment, the creditor may apply to the bailiff to have the arrears be collected from the debtor's property. But what if he doesn't have any information about his bank account or the value of his assets?

Rules for conducting bailiffs' execution

Pursuant to the provisions of the Code of Civil Procedure (Art. 7971), the creditor has the right to order the bailiff to search for the debtor's property for remuneration. In the first place, if the creditor has any information about the debtor's property or bank account, it should be communicated to the bailiff. Otherwise, the bailiff must obtain such information personally, for example by sending inquiries to various state or financial institutions. On the basis of the obtained data, it is possible to identify whether the debtor's assets include real estate, movable components (e.g. vehicles, machines). Bailiffs are also interested in benefits received from the Social Insurance Institution and cash in bank accounts.

A helpful solution when looking for debtors' bank accounts is the database available in the Ognivo system, supported by Krajowa Izba Rozliczeniowa S.A. This solution is designed to support various institutions, i.e. banks, tax offices, customs chambers, city offices, as well as bailiffs in the effective and quick exchange of information. Through the website, bailiffs can send inquiries to banks in order to obtain information whether a given person has their own bank account. However, in order for the data to be made available, it is necessary to pay an appropriate amount, the value of which depends on the number of inquiries sent - for this reason, the bailiff may request an advance payment to cover these costs.

Art. 105 sec. 1 point 2 lit. ł - Banking law

"The bank is obliged to provide information constituting bank secrecy only at the request of a court bailiff to the extent necessary for the proper conduct of enforcement proceedings, security proceedings and other activities resulting from its statutory tasks"

After identifying the financial institution in which the debtor has a bank account, the next step is to seize the funds accumulated on it. Pursuant to Art. 889 § 1 of the Code of Civil Procedure, in order to perform the enforcement, the bailiff must send to the appropriate bank a notice of seizure of the debtor's monetary claim resulting from the possession of a bank account. The amount of the seizure applies to funds also accumulated on the account that includes a savings contribution up to the amount of the receivable being the subject of enforcement along with the costs of execution. At the same time, the bailiff calls on the bank not to make withdrawals from the bank account up to the amount of the seized debt without his consent, but to transfer the amount due to his account. If there are circumstances preventing the payment of the debt, the bank is obliged to notify the bailiff within seven days.

Importantly, the bailiff is also obliged to notify the debtor about the seizure of his receivables from the bank account (including the savings deposit), on the basis of a copy of the notification sent to the bank about the prohibition of payments.

Good to know!

If the seized bank account is in a foreign currency, the bank transfers the debt to the bailiff in the Polish currency converted according to the purchase rate of this currency announced by the National Bank of Poland on the day of transferring the debt to the bailiff.

However, there may be situations in which enforcement titles overlap from the bank account of the same debtor. If the amount accumulated in the account allows for the coverage of all receivables, then the bank transfers the funds. However, if the sum of debts exceeds the funds in the bank account held by the debtor, the bank is obliged to suspend withdrawals from the account up to the amount of the seized receivables and immediately notify the competent enforcement authorities. Further proceedings and payment of receivables follows the determination of which bailiff is competent to continue the case pursuant to Art. 7731 cited above the law.

Exclusions from bailiff enforcement

It is worth knowing that not all funds accumulated on the debtor's bank account are always subject to enforcement. The Code of Civil Procedure provides for two situations where withdrawals from the account at the time of its attachment are not prohibited:

  • the debtor employs employees in his business, to whom he is obliged to pay wages together with taxes and other statutory burdens, or
  • is obliged to pay alimony or maintenance pensions up to the amount of the average remuneration for the previous quarter, as announced by the President of the Central Statistical Office in the Official Journal of the Republic of Poland "Monitor Polski".

Importantly, the payment of the above benefits is not made directly to the debtor. He is obliged to provide the bailiff with a copy of the payroll or other reliable evidence - in the case of remuneration or a writ of execution stating the debtor's obligation to pay maintenance or a pension. On the other hand, the bank makes payments on the basis of the bailiff's permission to the hands of persons entitled to these benefits, i.e. employees.

A different limitation in the case of bailiff enforcement of funds accumulated on the debtor's bank accounts is provided for in the Banking Law, specifically Art. 54 sec. 1. In accordance with the above-mentioned statutory funds held on:

  • savings accounts,
  • savings and checking accounts,
  • term savings deposit accounts,

- are free from attachment on the basis of a court (or administrative) writ of execution up to the amount of three times the average salary in the enterprise sector. The basis for determining this value is the remuneration announced by the President of the Central Statistical Office for the period immediately preceding the date of issuing the writ of execution.


The restriction provided for by the provisions of the Banking Law applies only to bank accounts of private persons, and does not apply to business accounts.

From the above considerations, it can be concluded that it is not easy to avoid bailiff enforcement if, on the basis of a final judgment, the creditor ordered the collection of the due debt. In practice, bailiffs can drag on indefinitely, but as a result, no debtor will avoid enforcement.