What is a frozen or blocked bank account?

If you attempt to withdraw money from your bank account only to discover that you cannot, it might have been frozen or blocked. If so, you are unable to complete transactions.

Facts

If a bank account has been frozen or blocked, the person who owns the account can't withdraw funds until the account is released.

Features

Although money cannot be withdrawn from a blocked bank account, funds can still be deposited, either by the consumer or by direct deposit.

Function

Bank accounts are often frozen or blocked by a creditor that has provided a court order requiring the bank to freeze the consumer's account. The creditor then withdraws the amount it is owed before the bank account is released.

Considerations

If money in your account is immune from garnishment, you can notify the creditor's attorney of your income exemptions to have your account unfrozen. Unemployment benefits and Social Security checks are among the types of funds that in some cases cannot be frozen.

Warning

Any checks or debit transactions that hit your bank account while it is frozen will not go through. If you bank chooses to process these transactions, you are responsible for the resulting fees.

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About the Author

Ciele Edwards holds a Bachelor of Arts in English and has been a consumer advocate and credit specialist for more than 10 years. She currently works in the real-estate industry as a consumer credit and debt specialist. Edwards has experience working with collections, liens, judgments, bankruptcies, loans and credit law.

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