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Bank Account Garnishments

About Bank Account Garnishments

The Bank Account Garnishment Process

In the event that a bank receives a notice of a garnishment, they are required to immediately freeze the debtor's account for certain types of debts, known as "priority" debts. These include:
  • Child supportgarnishments training
  • Spousal support
  • Federal taxes
  • Student loan debt
  • Debts, charges, or overdraft fees to a specific bank
This automatic freeze is done to protect funds due to creditors, otherwise the debtor could withdraw or transfer all funds from their account. However, individuals still need to pay their rent, mortgage, and other bills, and need access to their funds to do so. So what should a bank do?

The American Bankers Association state "Banks are caught between the competing interests of the account holder and creditors. Thus, banks have no choice often except to place a hold on an account and let the debtor and creditor resolve the dispute. To address this, some states have regulations permitting access to certain levels of funds. Check with your state for this rules.

Federal Exemptions For Bank Account Garnishment

Certain types of income cannot be garnished or frozen in a bank account. These funds include:
  • Social Security
  • Supplement Social Security Income
  • Veterans benefits
  • Federal, civil service, and railroad retirement benefits
  • Student loan and financial aid disbursements
  • FEMA aid
State Exemptions For Bank Account Garnishment

Unlike federal exemptions, the state exemptions for bank account garnishment vary by state. This can include the types of funds that are exempt from garnishment, the amount of funds that can be claimed as exempt, and whether the account can be seized at all.

Wage Garnishment Rules

Click your applicable state from the table below for your state's wage garnishment rules.


State Laws For
Wage Garnishments And Levies
Alabama
Alaska
Arizona
Arkansas
California
Colorado
Connecticut
DC
Delaware
Florida
Georgia
Hawaii
Idaho
Illinois
Indiana
Iowa
Kansas
Kentucky
Louisiana
Maine
Maryland
Massachusetts
Michigan
Minnesota
Mississippi
Missouri
Montana
Nebraska
Nevada
New Hampshire
New Jersey
New Mexico
New York
North Carolina
North Dakota
Ohio
Oklahoma
Oregon
Pennsylvania
Rhode Island
South Carolina
South Dakota
Tennessee
Texas
Utah
Vermont
Virginia
Washington
West Virginia
Wisconsin
Wyoming

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