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Can a student loan collection agency garnish my savings or checking account if they're already garnishing my wages at work?

New York, NY |

the loan is was taken out 21 years ago and since then the trade school went out of business although i work for the airlines as a flight attendant the school had trained me to become a travel agent and never got me a job i got my job as a flight attendant on my own by responding to an ad about 7 years later. the collection agency also garnishes my tax return also aware that ill probably never get out of that debt cause all the money they are taking from me is going towards the interest so the base loan is not even being affeted...i want to save my money in my bank for something very important but im afraid they'll touch my savings or checking account and ill lose all my money.....Can they do that?

Attorney Answers 2


If you have non-exempt funds according to your state's law, a creditor can attach to those funds to help satisfy the debt.

Advice on this forum is for informational purposes only and should never be mistaken as a substitute for legal advice. If you are in need of legal advice, you should consult local legal counsel.

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Whether the funds in your bank account may be used to satisfy student loan debt depends on the type of student loans, the status of the debt, and the nature of the funds in your account.

For example, in New York, your bank account cannot be frozen if the balance is less than:
$2,500 - if your account contains directly deposited exempt benefits, including Social Security, SSI, Veterans benefits, disability, pensions, child support, spousal maintenance, workers compensation, unemployment insurance, Public Assistance, Railroad Retirement benefits, and/or Black Lung benefits. Banks and collection agencies can suffer penalties if they do not honor these exemptions. Moreover, because it is often hard to tell the source of funds, banks are reluctant to freeze accounts for fear of running into these penalties.

If your student loans were backed by the government, then different rules apply, but you would still have some protections for your bank account.

IMPORTANT LEGAL NOTICE: Ms. Brown’s response above is not legal advice and it does not create an attorney-client relationship. Ms. Brown’s responses to all questions posted on AVVO are intended to provide general information based upon the facts stated in the question, and are for educational purposes of the public, not any specific individual. In order to offer legal advice about this or any similar situation, a qualified attorney would likely need to consider many factors not stated in the question or response above. If you would like to obtain specific legal advice about this issue, please contact an attorney in your state. Ms. Brown is licensed to practice law in New York, and may be contacted by email at:

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