Can a joint bank account be seized by a creditor?

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Can a joint bank account be seized by a creditor?

I am preparing to negotiate a payment agreement with a creditor. Will the bank account I share with my elderly mother be affected?

Asked on October 12, 2010 under Bankruptcy Law, California

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

As long as your name is on the account, any money in it is subject to seizure unless there are exempt funds in it as well.  Exempt funds (ie Social Security benefits and the like) cannot be seized but all other money can be, whether or not they are yours or your mothers.  I suggest that you take you mother's name off of the account and establish a new account for her solely in her name.  At least until all of this has been settled - in full. As long as the account remains unpaid, your creditor could still proceed against your account even if a re-payment arrangement is in place.

Note:  This applies to any joint assets that you have, not just a bank account.


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