What Is a Legal Order LTS?

Article Summary:

Legal order LTS is a transcription service fee that is charged for copies of financial records that have to be submitted to a court. If a bank receives a court order to release your bank records and charges you a legal order fee, you will likely also be charged a legal order LTS fee since multiple copies of your records will have to be sent. Legal order fees typically range from $75 to $125, depending on the bank and state regulations they might have to adhere to.

As you undoubtedly know, bank accounts often come with various fees and regulations attached to them, many of which are often hidden in the fine print of a bank’s terms. They can pop up when you least expect them or when you’re at your most financially vulnerable.

A legal order LTS is one such example. This is a fee you will incur if you are in a legal situation where a court has ordered your bank to turn over your financial records. The bank will charge you this fee to recoup the time and effort on their part to respond to the court order and provide the requested information. This can be especially inconvenient if you are already dealing with other legal fees. However, it’s very difficult to get a legal order LTS refunded or waived.

What is a legal order fee?

A legal order fee is charged by banks when they obtain a legal order to release your bank records for some type of legal case. These records may be needed for a local civil court or criminal legal case, and you might have to sign a release form for your bank to provide your financial records. When a legal order arrives at your bank, the bank has no choice but to provide the requested information.

What is a legal order fee LTS?

As it relates to a legal order fee, LTS stands for Legal Transcription Sheet or Legal Transcription Service. An LTS for a legal order fee means that the legal order fee is charged both for the copies of the orders that are required by the court for deposit in a treasury and for the submission of the same to the concerned party who requested it for further action.

Why do banks charge legal order fees?

There are a couple of reasons why banks charge legal order fees. The first reason is that most banks are for-profit companies, and therefore they need to make money. By charging fees, such as for legal orders, banks are able to generate income.

The second reason why banks charge legal order fees is that it can take a considerable amount of time to gather the necessary records and submit them to a court or legal office. The bank’s resources are used to locate and supply all the materials, and thus the bank will likely charge for a service that uses those resources.

Actions the bank takes

When a bank receives a court order to turn over information related to your checking account or other bank accounts, they will first ensure that the order is legitimate and enforceable. The bank employs a team of attorneys for these types of reviews.

The legal team needs to be paid for these services, so a legal order fee is a way for the bank to charge its customers for the cost of reviewing legal orders related to their accounts.

These fees may be charged whether or not any funds are removed from your account. The bank’s legal team spends time reviewing your account regardless of whether it moves your money, so naturally, the cost will still be incurred.

Keep in mind that as their customer, the bank wants to keep you happy, as they have a vested interest in keeping your money in your account. They also want to make sure that they aren’t being defrauded by someone who has created a fake court order to try to steal money.

When are legal order fees charged?

Legal order fees are charged when a bank has to review or take action on a person’s account based on an order from a court. This court order can involve anything from responding to a subpoena for your bank records to the IRS garnishing your wages to pay back taxes, such as income tax.

Additional examples of when you can be charged legal order fees include tax liens, injunctions, child support, and levies. Basically, if any kind of legal action is taken against you that might require a look at your finances, you can expect to be charged a legal order fee.

How much do legal order fees cost?

Legal order fees can typically range from $75 to $125, but this varies from state to state based on each state’s regulations. That said, there is a standard fee schedule related to legal order fees that banks generally follow. Here are the standard legal order fees per bank at the time of publishing (fees can change at any time without warning):

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

Do banks refund or waive legal order fees?

Banks will sometimes refund a legal order fee; however, it depends on the situation. Trying to get a legal order fee refunded is a notoriously difficult and inconvenient process that involves speaking to a number of different bank employees and pleading your case. That said, fees have been refunded in the past, so it’s not impossible.

Bank error

Sometimes, the bank will make an error, and you will be charged a legal order fee even though you weren’t involved in any sort of court order. If this occurs, it can be much easier to get the fee refunded or waived by simply calling the bank and informing them that you believe there’s been an error.

It is always possible that the bank accidentally charged the legal order fee to your account or conducted a review of your account by mistake when it received a legal order for another person’s account. That’s why it’s worth trying to speak with a bank representative if you believe an error has been made.

Pro Tip

There are some third-party companies that specialize in getting legal order fees refunded or waived. You can simply file a complaint with one of these third parties and they will fight the fees for you.


What is a legal order fee LTS for Bank of America?

A legal order fee LTS for Bank of America is the same as a legal order fee, plus the addition of a transcription charge for any copies of the legal order that have to be sent. A legal order fee is a way for the bank to charge for the cost of reviewing legal orders related to their accounts, and an added legal transcription service fee will also be charged for making copies of any of this information.

What is a legal order debit?

A legal order debit is specific to the state of California. If you owe money to a California court and don’t pay, it becomes court-ordered debt. The court can then send that debt to a debt collector or other third party to ensure it gets paid. The debt collector can take money from your paycheck or bank account to cover the debt.

Why did Chase charge me a legal processing fee?

Chase charges a legal processing fee when they have to investigate or take action on an account based on a legal order. When Chase receives the court order, it will verify that the order is legitimate and legally binding before taking action. They will charge a legal processing fee for their investigation into the legal order.

What is a legal order reversal?

A legal order reversal can occur when a court of appeal rules that the judgment of a lower court is incorrect, thereby reversing the result of a case. The result of reversal is that the lower court that tried the case is instructed to vacate the original judgment and retry the case.

How long does a levy stay on your bank account?

A levy stays on your bank account until you can pay back the amount of money you owe to the creditors that placed it on your account in the first place. A levy can exist on your bank account even if you don’t have any money in it. The levy can also impact your credit report.

That said, regardless of the type of debt you owe, the bank usually has to wait 21 days after a levy is received before surrendering your money.

What does a legal order mean?

A legal order is a decision that is issued by a court or other authoritative body. This includes final and non-final orders issued by a court. A legal order is also known as a court order or a judicial order.

Key Takeaways

  • A legal order fee is charged by a bank for the resources they devote to responding to a court order requesting financial account information.
  • A legal order LTS is the transcription service fee that can be added for the number of copies and other materials the bank has to give to the court.
  • Legal order fees cost anywhere from $75 to $125, depending on the bank and your state’s regulations.
  • Legal order fees can be charged if the bank has to respond to injunctions, levies, and requests for child support.
  • Banks have been known to refund or waive legal order fees, although this is rare and difficult to achieve.

Concerned about legal order fees? Check out SuperMoney’s expert guide on asset seizure to learn how to protect yourself from this financially stressful situation.

View Article Sources
  1. Legal Processing Fees: Why Do Banks Charge Them? – MyBankTracker
  2. Account service fees – Bank of America
  3. Court-ordered debt collections – California Franchise Tax Board
  4. Banking Services and Fees for Personal Accounts – Chase
  5. Reversal – Legal Information Institute, Cornell Law School
  6. Order – Legal Information Institute, Cornell Law School