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What Is A Legal Order LTS?

A legal order LTS is an example of a bank fee that the member is responsible for paying in the case that a court has ordered the person’s bank to present their financial records. The bank issues this fee to compensate for the time and resources required to follow through with the court order requests. LTS stands for Legal Transcription Service and describes the fee charged for both copies of the legal orders, including one copy for deposit in a treasury and the other for submission to the party that requested the order.


Key Takeaways:

  • A legal order LTS is a bank fee that is charged to the member when a court order requests the investigation of their bank account for legitimate circumstances, including child support, injunctions, levies, subpoenas, tax liens, and wage garnishments.
  • Banks issue legal order fees because they are for-profit businesses that must earn money while affording company expenses, such as rent, payroll, supplies, and utilities. These fees typically range from $75 to $125.
  • You can request that a bank removes a legal order fee, but unless this fee was issued in error, it is unlikely that it will be waived.
  • The best ways to avoid legal order fees are to pay off your debts in full and to stay up to date in tax payments.

Facts and Statistics:

  • The IRS Form 8546, Claim for Reimbursement of Bank Charges, can be submitted to the IRS in the case that you receive bank charges for erroneous levies.
  • Bank-issued legal processing fees typically range from $75 to $125.

What Are Legal Order Fees?

Legal order fees are legal processing fees that are charged when a court order or legal action requires a bank to take action on a bank account. There are many different circumstances that may require the release of bank records, including a local civil court case, a criminal legal case, wage garnishment, child support, liens, or levies.

When a court issues a legal order, the bank must investigate the situation and release the appropriate responses and documentation. Once the court order is verified to be legitimate, or sometimes before, the bank will issue legal order processing fees to the person whose account is being investigated.

Why Banks Issue Legal Order Fees

Banks are for-profit businesses, so for this reason, legal order fees are charged so that banks can make money as well as afford payroll, rent, supplies, and utilities. Upon receiving an order, the bank will not automatically release a person’s records and bank account information.

First, they will investigate the source of the order and ensure the request is legally binding and legitimate. As a business, banks prefer to keep their customers happy and keep their bank account balance as high as possible. Additionally, banks must ensure the order was not sent with the fraudulent intention of stealing money.

When a bank receives a court order, legal professionals will be hired to investigate the contract. Hiring a lawyer or attorney for expert advice can be costly, and it can be a time-consuming process to gather financial information and submit records to a court or legal office, so the bank issues legal order fees to ensure payment for these services.

Some of the banks that issue legal order fees include Bank of America, Chase, Citibank, TD Bank, U.S. Bank, PNC Bank, and Wells Fargo. These fees tend to cost between $75 and $125 depending on the bank and state in which the court order is being issued.

Current Bank Legal Order Fees

Bank order fees can increase or decrease at any time, so if you are researching how much you may have to pay your bank in these processing fees, it is beneficial to contact your bank directly for more accurate answers. Here are the currently known legal order fees for popular banks:

  • Bank of America: $125
  • Chase: Up to $75
  • Citibank: $125
  • PNC Bank: $100
  • TD Bank: $125
  • Truist: $125
  • U.S. Bank: $100
  • Wells Fargo: $125

When Are Legal Order Fees Issued?

Legal processing fees are issued to a bank member any time that a bank is ordered to review or take action against a person’s account. Whether you are at fault in regard to the issue being investigated or if you are innocent, because the bank had to spend time and resources on the report, the legal processing fee is placed.

Additionally, for every copy of the report that must be sent, an additional legal order fee LTS will be applied to the account in question.

What Circumstances Can Involve Legal Processing Fees?

Any time a bank must review someone’s bank accounts, there will be an associated processing fee. There are many circumstances in which this can occur, but a few examples include:

  • Child Support
  • Injunctions
  • Levies
  • Subpoenas
  • Tax Liens
  • IRS Wage Garnishment

Can Legal Processing Fees Be Waived?

Legal order processing fees are expensive, especially when the people facing these charges are also struggling with a type of debt or accumulated unpaid back taxes. While an order fee can cause increased financial struggle for anyone facing this problem, banks are usually hesitant to waive or remove this charge.

Typically, by the time a court order has been noticed by the customer, a legal team has already been paid to investigate your account, so banks are apprehensive to approve the waiver at the risk of losing money.

Ask The Bank If They Will Waive The Fee To Maintain Customer Relations

If you notice a legal processing fee on your account, reaching out to your bank and asking if this fee can be removed is still the best strategy to mitigate this issue. You do not need a lawyer or professional representative to place this request.

Instead, all you will need is to search for your bank’s phone number or meet with them in person to ask if there is anything they can do to help you, whether that is reducing the amount of the fee, or waiving it completely.

It is beneficial to be polite to the bank clerk during this discussion but to still bring forth supporting reasons as to why the fees should be removed. In addition, if you are a long-time customer of this bank, they may be more willing to work with you to retain your membership with them.

Just like other types of businesses, customer satisfaction should be a priority in their business model, so the bank may find it is worth their effort to waive the fee if it means you continue to bank with them.

Contact Your Bank Regarding Their Error

If you are unsure as to why a legal processing fee was charged, contacting your bank is the first step to take. It is possible that the bank made a mistake and looked into your account instead of another person’s account for which they received a legal order.

If your account was reviewed in error, it is significantly more likely to meet an agreement and that this fee will be waived than if your account was reviewed for a legitimate reason, but asking is the only way to receive a final answer.

DoNotPay: Another Option To Reduce Bank Fees

While it is unlikely that large banks would be willing to waive bank fees, having an advocate on your side such as DoNotPay can achieve more significant deductions. DoNotPay is a third-party organization dedicated to helping people reduce or remove bank fees from their accounts.

This business is self-claimed as “the world’s first robot lawyer,” helping people fight for their rights in regard to the law. This company has positive reviews across multiple different review platforms, so people sort out their tax problems no matter their legal experience or understanding.

Some of the types of bank fees this company can help people reduce include:

  • Account-to-account Fees
  • ACH Fees
  • ATM Fees
  • Checking Account Fees
  • International Conversion Fees
  • Overdraft Fees
  • Savings account fees
  • Wire transfer fees

How To Avoid Legal Processing Fees

While it is difficult to have bank fees removed once they are in place, it is possible to avoid them from the beginning. 

Two of the best ways to avoid legal processing fees:

  • Pay off all of your debts in full.
  • Pay your taxes on time.


What is a Legal Order?

This form is a legally binding document that allows the bank to provide the member’s financial records to any third party that the member has authorized.

The release form also outlines the specific types of records that the bank can provide, as well as the time period that must be followed. This term is sometimes referred to as a court order or judicial order.

What is a Legal Order Debit?

Specific to the state of California, a legal order debit involves the California Franchise Tax Board (FTB). If someone does not pay their debt owed to the California court, the debt becomes court-ordered. In this case, a debt collector can go after the money by seizing funds from their paycheck or bank account.

Can Court Orders Be Used To Collect Other Liabilities?

Legal order fees can also be utilized for different types of unpaid liabilities, including traffic tickets, probation, victim compensation, and paying bills for credit cards. A Continuous Order to Withhold (COTW) stays in effect for 12 months and attaches to payments.

What is a Legal Order Fee LTS from Bank of America?

A legal order fee LTS from Bank of America is a fee that is charged when a customer requests a legal order from the bank along with a transcription fee for any copies that must be sent. Bank of America may issue legal order fees if they release records involving a divorce, lawsuit, or another type of legal case. Sometimes during this process, the bank member is required to sign a release form to give consent to their bank providing their records.

Dealing with financial problems and tax issues is stressful for anyone, especially when additional penalties and fees are involved that only worsen someone’s ability to pay their debt. If you want tips on how to reduce legal order fees or want to be guided through the steps of resolving your tax burdens, contact us today!

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