A creditor got a judgment against me. Can they freeze or in any way touch my bank account?

Asked about 5 years ago - Houston, TX

They won a default judgment. I sent in the proper paperwork to vacate the judgment in time, but was unaware of the time limits for scheduling the hearing. The court granted the hearing, and I went, only to be told the court could no longer help me and that the judgment stands. As far as I can tell, my only recourse is to either ignore this (since the amount they won is 3 times what I actually owe & I don't have any money anyway), to try to offer a reasonable settlement (around what these lawyer debt-collectors/buyers bought the debt for), or to file bankruptcy. I know they can't garnish wages in Texas, and your sole car and home are safe. But how can you pay for those if they can freeze your bank account?

Attorney answers (1)

  1. Daniel Joseph Ciment

    Pro

    Contributor Level 11

    Answered . The judgment creditor can garnish your bank account. In order to do this they have to file a lawsuit against your bank. Once the bank has been served with the lawsuit the bank will freeze your accounts. Any and all money in the account will be turned over to the judgment creditor after the bank takes out its legal fees, usually around $400-$500.

    Yes they can take every penny in the account (up to the amount of the judgment). They can do this as many times as they want to until the debt is paid.

    Now, in order for the judgment creditor to do this, they have to know where you bank. If they do not know where you bank, then they do not know what bank to file the lawsuit against. So if you think they know where you bank, change banks and they wont be able to garnish the account.

    There is no good way for the judgment creditor to find out where you bank unless you tell them.

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