What is a frozen bank account?

A frozen bank account is a bank account that you cannot access because a creditor has placed a restraint on it.  When your bank account is frozen, you can put money into it, but you can’t take money out.

Why is my bank account frozen?

A frozen bank account means that a creditor or debt collector obtained a court judgment against you (or your joint account holder, if you have a joint bank account).  A creditor or debt collector cannot freeze your bank account unless it has a judgment from the court. Judgment creditors freeze people’s bank accounts as a way of pressuring people to make payments.

Click below to learn what to do if your bank account has been frozen and how the law protects government benefits like SSI and unemployment.

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Last Reviewed: May 26, 2023