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Can A Creditor Take All The Money From My Bank Account?

Yes, but only if the creditor has secured a judgment against you. In other words, a creditor cannot just arbitrarily reach into your bank account and stow away with all your cash whenever they want. Of course, the creditor may very well threaten you with such an action when they call you (repeatedly). But what they fail to tell you about is the process that has to take place prior them getting an order from the judge.

Procedurally, the only way in which a creditor can levy your bank account (it is also commonly referred to as a ‘bank freeze’) is by first gaining an order from the judge saying they can. In order to get this order, a breach of contract action must be filed with the appropriate court (basically the creditor showing that there was a contract between you and the creditor in which you failed to make payments on), you must be properly served with a summons indicating the time, place, and reason for why the breach of contract action was filed (along with instructions making it clear how you may counter or answer the claim), a hearing in front a judge must held (at which time you have an opportunity to be heard and argue your case), and the judge must then sign an order giving permission to the creditor to either garnish wages, levy a bank account, or place a lien against property. Until all those things happen, the creditor can’t do a thing (except, as I mentioned, threaten you with it).

But assuming that the creditor has in fact secured such a judgment, it can move forward with a bank levy. In that situation, the bank is given what is called a ‘Notice of Levy’ which indicates to them that they should remove all funds from the account(s) and place it into a trust account. This amount will then be sent to the creditor after the ‘Return Date’. The return date is important to know, because so long as you file for bankruptcy before this date, the money being held will not be sent to the creditor (and you can get it back).

Many people believe that allowing a creditor to levy your bank account is wrong. I’m not going to disagree. But the fact of the matter is that the courts have determined that such a remedy is okay. That being the case, it is important to understand that this kind of thing can (and will) happen. But filing a St. Louis Chapter 7 bankruptcy or a St. Louis Chapter 13 bankruptcy can take care of not only the bank levy (because such a filing puts a stop to all collection activity on the part of the creditor), it also gets rid of the underlying debt. Our staff is prepared to guide you through this process, and get you the fresh start / clean slate that you deserve.

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