This means that your creditor has served a writ of execution on your bank, and unless the funds are Social Security, in which case the bank is permitted to disregard this pursuant to treasury regulations, the bank will put a freeze on your account, usually assess an administrative fee (about $100), and put the burden on you to claim an appropriate exemption under state law to show why these funds should be returned to you, rather than turned over to the creditor. There are strict time deadlines to respond to this. The most typical claimed exemption, would be the fact that your wages have been deposited within the prior 20 days, in which case you can provide that information, and 75% of that should be returned to you. If you have been on any public assistance, or the source of the money is child support or Social Security, then you should be able to claim it all as exempt. Other sources of funds, such as tax refunds, or gifts or loans from other parties, do not have an appropriate exemption under state law. The documentation that you provide should be sufficient to connect the dots to prove what you are trying to tell them.
And once you show them that this was your paycheck, they will know where you work if they don’t know already, and they will likely commence garnishing you. So first and foremost, if there is a judgment against you, you should learn to keep your money out of the bank.
Another possible exemption that you can claim, is that if the funds are in a joint account and were deposited by the other joint account holder, and you can prove that that joint account holder did not give you these funds as a gift, you can protect them from the creditor that way.
A bankruptcy is usually the best way to prevent this from continuing to happen. Moreover, in most cases we can get back all of the money that they have seized from your bank account, even if you were not able to protect it using your state law remedies, as long as we get your case filed within 90 days.