Virginia  |  Credit and Debt Law

Legal Question

Asked on: 4/26/07, 7:24 pm

frozen bank accounts

are there any states that do not allow the garnshiment of your checking account,I know some states do not allow wage garshiments like texas and north carolina just wondering about bank accounts

2 Answers


Answered on: 4/29/07, 1:35 am by Michael E. Hendrickson

Re: frozen bank accounts

Probably, not, but, admittedly, don't know for sure. (Bank accounts are likely to be viewed as a reserve of sorts, availble to the judgment debtor that, unlike, paychecks, he really doesn't need to absolutely depend upon for his [or her] support. This, of course, is only my theory of things.)


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Answered on: 5/25/07, 12:33 am by Jonathon Moseley

Re: frozen bank accounts

I am not licensed outside of Virginia, and cannot speak for certain. But from what I have heard, you should consult a South Carolina attorney to explore whether SC law applies to your situation more favorably. I suspect that it will be important what KIND of garnishment you are talking about, such as for child support, IRS, etc. But you will have to ask a SC attorney exactly what applies to your situation. You could probably post the question here under South Carolina.

I also suspect that it will be important if you LIVE in South Carolina. If you open a bank account in SC, but are a citizen of Virginia, it will be a real legal hornet's nest as to what law applies, and you might not like the result. I DON'T KNOW -- JUST ASKING QUESTIONS that you should explore.

NOTE THAT EVEN 1 PRINCE WILLIAM GDC JUDGE HAS OPENLY ADMITTED THAT BANK GARNISHMENTS IN VIRGINIA ARE A REAL PROBLEM. When your wage is garnished, there are strict limits. Only money above a certain minimum can be garnished, and then only 25% of the amount above the minimum. THIS IS DESIGNED TO ENSURE that people will have enough money to live on while paying back their debts.

NOT SO WITH BANK ACCOUNTS. If you have direct deposit, and ALL of your wage goes into your bank account, 100% OF IT IS IMMEDIATELY GARNISHED, AND YOU LOSE 100%

So you get a totally different result from a wage garnishment and a bank garnishment. That defeats the whole purpose of the General Assembly's careful rules. It makes no sense to get completely different results.

I HAVE SEEN PEOPLE LOSE THEIR HOUSE OR APARTMENT AND BE OUT ON THE STREET because their bank account was frozen and they had NO money to pay their mortgage or their rent.

You should make sure that you have money in CASH to pay short-term bills.

And if you have a mortgage YOU REALLY SHOULD REFINANCE TO PAY OFF OTHER BILLS so that you will not get in trouble.


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