Bailiff seizure of accounts, enforcement of movable and immovable property

Many people encounter a situation in which a bailiff takes enforcement actions due to unpaid liabilities. If a person encounters a bailiff’s seizure for the first time, it is worth keeping in mind what may be seized by the bailiff.

Seizure of a bank account by a bailiff

Most often, bailiffs use enforcement against bank accounts as the first option. In such a situation, the bailiff sends a notification to the bank where the debtor has an account, informing about the seizure of the debtor’s funds in the account up to the amount of the required enforcement, along with
with enforcement costs. The bank is requested to block withdrawals without the bailiff’s consent up to the amount of the seized funds or to notify the bailiff within seven days of any obstacles to the transfer of the seized amount. Even if the bailiff did not indicate a specific bank account, this notification remains effective. Additionally, the debtor is informed about the seizure of his funds on his account.

Enforcement of movable property by a bailiff

Another measure often used by bailiffs is enforcement against movable property. The bailiff may seize movable property owned by the debtor. It is important, however, that movable property is not subject to seizure if it does not constitute the debtor’s property. The debtor’s movable property in the possession of a third party may be seized only if that person consents or confirms that it is the debtor’s property, subject to other cases specified in the Act.

Enforcement of remuneration for work

Enforcement of remuneration for work is another tool provided for by law. The bailiff informs the debtor that he is not allowed to collect remuneration beyond the part free from seizure until the debt is fully covered. This applies in particular to remuneration for work, remuneration for commissioned work, awards and bonuses related to employment and other benefits related to the employment relationship. The employer is obliged to transfer the seized wages directly to the creditor.

Enforcement of receivables

Enforcement may also include seizure of other receivables. This is the enforcement only of existing receivables owned by the debtor on the basis of a specific legal relationship, including enforcement of receivables arising later.
In each case, the bailiff takes action in accordance with the law, with the aim of securing the creditor’s interests with the possibility of effective debt recovery.

Real estate enforcement

In addition, there is also the possibility of enforcement against real estate, which is characterized by the fact that the bailiff first calls on the debtor to repay the debt within a specified period under pain of starting the description and valuation activities. The seizure of real estate takes place upon delivery of the summons to the debtor. As for the debtor who was not served with the summons, as well as for third parties, seizure takes place upon making an entry in the land and mortgage register or submitting a bailiff’s application to the collection of documents.

To sum up, the law precisely defines the principles of enforcement and the rights and obligations of the bailiff. It is worth noting that different forms of enforcement have different effects and costs, and their choice depends on the specific circumstances of the case.


Grzegorz Streckbein


Advocate. He completed his legal studies at the Faculty of Law and Administration of the University of Silesia in Katowice. In his daily practice, he deals primarily with issues related to the day-to-day service of business entities, with particular emphasis on corporate service. His interests also include reorganization and mergers and acquisitions (M&A) matters. He advises management boards and supervisory boards of capital companies.

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