A Florida woman got her bank account frozen this week, and she was unable to pay the invoice for two months. She was far from bankruptcy, but her account was frozen and helpless.
“It was embarrassing, very unpleasant, shocking to not be able to shop for a small amount of money in the store, and I didn’t know why,” she said.
Her debit card, linked to her life savings, stopped working in February.
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“They gave me no information,” she said. “Even when they sent me a letter to say that they were closing my account.”
But, as of today, she contacted her bank and they said that they have found a resolution for the matter.
The two most common reasons for bank accounts to be frozen are:
1) that the bank suspects fraudulent withdrawals on your account
2) a creditor or creditors have a judgment against you and are levying (seizing money from) your account to satisfy that judgment.
If you’ve made some unusual transactions, or, someone has fraudulently accessed your account, it is only a matter of contacting your bank to find out what happened and straighten things out.
However, if you in arrears to a creditor, that is a different story. Creditors can sue you and, if successful, obtain a legal judgment from a state court awarding them powers to collect what they are owed.
Common collection tactics can include wage garnishments and property liens. One particularly powerful tool for enforcing court judgments is the ability to freeze a debtor’s bank accounts.
Banks, credit card companies, hospitals, and other large creditors can easily discover where a person is banking. Once a debtor’s bank is located, and a judgment is in hand, the creditor can demand that the bank freeze the debtor’s accounts.
Creditors can place a hold on the account for as much as double the actual judgment.
If you are dealing with a frozen account, know that if it was frozen at the request of a creditor, events will proceed rapidly and your money is at risk.
Having a lawyer on your side can be the difference between a controlled bankruptcy filing and a personal financial disaster.
Keep up with more news here with us at the East County Gazette.