If bank accounts were frozen but they are joint accounts with my wife, is this allowed?

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If bank accounts were frozen but they are joint accounts with my wife, is this allowed?

I received notice today that my accounts were frozen because of a debt I owe. The debt is in my name only but the accounts are in mine and my wife’s names.

Asked on December 20, 2011 under Bankruptcy Law, New York

Answers:

S.J.H., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

They can freeze any accounts in your name, even if it in your name together with another. However, because of the fact aht you are not the only name on the account, they will not be able to retrieve that money from the account without going to court and seeking a turnover order which allows them to specifically take the money. This is a long and grueling process that most collection agents won't pursue unless a lot of money is involved. However, unless the bank deems the money exempt from collection and releases the hold, this account will remain frozen until either you petition a court to remove the hold or the bank agrees to withdraw the restraint.


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