Can I sue my bank and get overdraft charges back over a garnishment that was not ours?

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Can I sue my bank and get overdraft charges back over a garnishment that was not ours?

My husband had a garnishment put on his account for his mother, who was on his checking account while he was in Iraq. We went through the courts and got our money released after proving all the money was ours. We took the release to the bank and finally got our money released, however we had almost four hundred dollars in overdraft charges that were racked up because of this. We have had about ten different people in various departments of the bank tell us that if we got the issue resolved the charges would be refunded, now of course they are going back on that.

Asked on August 18, 2010 under Bankruptcy Law, Georgia

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

You may have grounds to sue your bank. They negligently (e.g. carelessless; in error) caused you to incur costs or losses. When someone, including a business, negligently causes you damage or losses, you can often sue them and recover your losses. Given the cost of an attorney, you should probably consider bringing an action in small claims court, where you don't need a lawyer; it's also generally more informal, less expensive, and quicker. Before doing that, you may wish to make the bank aware that you will sue them, if necessary; that may be motivate the bank to honor the agreement and refund the charges. You should also think about your "bottom line"--what is the lowest amount that, if offered, you would accept as a settlement and not sue. Since even small claims court takes time and has costs, if you can get most of what you want, you should consider taking it.


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