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Frozen Bank Accounts & Garnishment

Frozen Bank Accounts & Garnishment

You account may be frozen, garnished, or attached for a number of reasons. For example, if someone sued you and won a money judgment against you, they may try to collect that money by going straight to your bank account. State and federal laws limit who can freeze your account and also how much money can be taken from your account to pay a judgment or other obligation.

The bank may have an obligation to freeze the account, but it cannot do so until it determines whether your account contains certain funds (called “exempt”). In general, exempt funds (such as SSI and Social Security funds directly deposited into your account) are not allowed to be frozen or removed by the bank to pay your debts.

What we can do: 

We provide legal information and advice about frozen bank accounts and garnishment.  We can help you figure out why your account was frozen and whether it was wrongfully frozen.  We may be able to help you use your account again and may provide further legal assistance in some cases.

How to get help:

Walk-in Intake

Community Legal Services
North Philadelphia Law Center

1410 West Erie Avenue
Philadelphia, PA 19140
Monday, Wednesday, Friday
9:00am - 12:00pm

Philadelphia Legal Assistance
718 Arch Street, Suite 300N
Philadelphia, PA 19106-1535
Monday, Wednesday
9:00 am – 11:30 am

Phone Intake

Philadelphia Legal Assistance
(215) 981-3800
Tuesday, Thursday
9:30am - 12:00pm