Can debt collectors freeze a joint bank account if the debt only belongs to one party on the account?

My husband had a car repossessed prior to us getting married. The car was in his name, as well as the name of his ex-wife. The debt collectors have begun calling, and have advised that he owes $18,000. We have 1 joint account, and the only thing deposited in that account is our payroll checks. I was wondering, can the debt collector get a court order to freeze our joint account because of my husband’s debt, even though the debt is not mine? If so, is there anything that I can do to protect my paycheck money that is deposited in the account?

Asked on November 11, 2011 under Bankruptcy Law, Florida


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

If there is a judgment against your husband and a levy results, all accounts that he has his name on (including joint accounts with your name) are subject to the levy and monies taken to satisfy the judgment.

With that in mind, you might consider opening a new account solely in your name and transferring money into it. I would also try and work out a monthly settlement payment plan with the creditor that you are writing about if money is actually owed by your husband. Good luck to the both of you.

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