Can a creditor freeze my entire bank account if I only owe $250?

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Can a creditor freeze my entire bank account if I only owe $250?

I was on a payment plan with a law firm and believed it was paid in full in 04/10. I received a letter in the mail of a non-wage garnishment for $250 from them to my former bank account. If they find my current bank account, can they freeze my entire account or only take the $250 (assuming I have more than $250 in my account)? I also found out a judgment was entered in 06/10 for the $250 and I was never notified. It was entered in a county court where I do not and have never resided.

Asked on November 14, 2010 under Bankruptcy Law, Illinois

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Let's take first things first.  You have various options here.  You can go to the court and make a motion to vacate the judgement based upon that fact that you were not served with the action.  You would have to look at the file and the affidavit of service on the petition in order to attach its credibility. You would also need a meritorious defense which I would state as satisfaction of the loan.  But let me ask: did you sign anything that said if you missed a payment they could just enter judgement on you?  That may be what happened.  As ft he bank account, they can not freeze more than they are permitted to take on the judgement.  But I would contact the law firm and tell them that you want a complete history on the payment on the account and that you are moving to vacate the judgement and stop the garnishment as you paid the debt in full according to your records.  See if they will negotiate a deal with you.  Good luck. 


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