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Can a creditor freeze your bank account?

It is very easy to get into debt in Florida. Anyone can overspend or over extend themselves. However, once your debt becomes problematic and you can no longer make your payments, some creditors may take drastic steps. You may be concerned about the security of your bank accounts in such a situation. Typically, for secured debts, you do not have much to worry about because they take whatever it is that secured the loan, such as your home or car. However, for unsecured debts, creditors may very well go after your bank accounts.

The good news, according to Zacks, is a court order is required before a bank account garnishment actually occurs and you get a notice of this. Before the any money is taken, your account is frozen, which means you cannot access the funds in it. This gives you a chance to object. You should note the freeze only includes funds up to the amount owed, so if you have more funds in your account than owed, you will have access to them. In addition, some funds are exempt from garnishment, such as Social Security. Some other benefits, such as veterans, retirement or disability, may also be exempt. If it is a joint account, only half the funds can be frozen or taken. 

To garnish your bank account, the creditor must get a judgement from the court, which requires proving you owe the debt. Exemptions for this, though, include child support and taxes, which both can be taken from your bank accounts without court approval. This information is only intended to educate and should not be interpreted as legal advice.



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