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X9.129 Legal Orders Exchange Information Page


Welcome to X9.129 Legal Orders Exchange information page. This page provides a comprehensive overview of the standard and highlights its benefits for both banks and agencies.

General Information About the X9.129 Standard

In a Nutshell

The X9.129 standard plays a pivotal role in modernizing levy processing. The current version of the standard is ANSI X9.129–2020 (Version 03).  It is an open and non-proprietary format for electronically exchanging both levies and asset based orders. It’s a two-way standard that accommodates requests from government agencies and responses from banks, as well as follow up agency requests for a payment date change, modified levy amount, and a full release. This standard specifies the file format and essential fields for exchanging electronic legal orders, enabling automation of the legal order process by both agencies and banks.

History of the Standard

The ANSI X9.129 standard was collaboratively developed by banks, government agencies, and industry vendors in the Legal Orders Working Group of the Accredited Standards Committee X9.  The standard was developed over several years and pilot programs.  The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) formally approved the current standard – ANSI X9.129-2020 (Version 03) – as an American National Standard in 2020, signifying its consensus-based acceptance and universal usability.

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Obtain a Copy of the Standard

Members of X9 receive a free copy of the standard, while non-members can download it from for a fee of $100.

Search for:  ANSI X9.129-2020 (Version 3)/ASC X9 TR 51-2020

Note:  When you download the document, you will also receive an accompanying document titled ASC X9 TR 51-2020, which is also referred to as the “Technical Report.”  It is not intended to replace the ANSI X9.129 standard, but rather to clarify how financial institutions and agencies should use the standard to ensure all necessary and appropriate levies and asset based orders are exchanged between financial institutions and/or agencies.  


Legal orders are generated in many formats by a variety of different government agencies. These documents are then sent to the financial institution for processing. When the financial institution receives the requests (mail, fax, spreadsheet) the process for fulfilling them is highly manual, which is time consuming and can be prone to errors, and there are limited areas where automation can be applied by either financial institutions or agencies.



  • Automate the receipt / service of legal orders
  • Eliminate manual data entry
  • Enable immediate automated processing without manual work
  • Automate and standardize your response
  • Increase productivity to handle larger volumes

Cost Reduction / Avoidance

  • Reduce new issue of orders on orders not yet processed
  • Reduce holdover / backlog / phone calls from Requesters
  • Save paper and postage
  • Eliminate scanning
  • Reduce storage expense

Risk Mitigation

  • Faster and more consistent processing reduces legal liability and regulatory risk
    • Reduces failing to apply an exemption within required timeframe
    • Reduces potential financial loss of account look back
    • Reduce risk of duplicate processing
  • Eliminate manual errors
  • Eliminate lost mail
  • Automated interpretation of legal order, regardless of agency and state

Standardize Coding on One Standard

  • Facilitates more vendors and partners embracing and adopting a standardized process



  • Eliminates manual creation and handling of legal order
  • Faster service / eliminates mail lag time
  • Immediate validation of service / reduces duplication potential
  • Faster response time
  • Ability to automate FI’s messaging back and forth

Cost Reduction / Avoidance

  • Save paper and postage
  • Reduce staff time on legal order processing
  • Easily send one debtor legal order to multiple FIs

Efficiency & Standardization

  • Improve accuracy of required information within electronic file, reducing rework of incomplete / inaccurate legal order
  • Eliminates costly over-collecting process when legal order served on multiple FIs
  • Reduces follow-up on order

Reduction of Errors

  • Automation eliminates manual errors

Single Data Exchange Location

  • Agency-centralized location for all request pickup and response reply
  • Eliminates confusion in bank merger situations
  • Efficiency with tracking and research
  • Easier archive and future retrieval of legal order


If you have additional questions, please complete the form below and we will try to answer them and/or add them to the FAQs.

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