Will the credit union unfreeze my funds after my bankruptcy is discharged or can they keep it?
East Stroudsburg, PA |
I filed chapter 7 bankruptcy in Pennsylvania and my credit union froze my savings account because I owe them money on a credit card. My attorney said that I will lose that money because credit union have certain rights.
Your attorney is correct. Banks holding deposit accounts have the right of setoff (sometimes called offset) if their depositor owes a debt to the financial institution. The United States Supreme Court has ruled that these banks, or credit unions, may freeze depositors' accounts after filing bankruptcy in order to preserve these offset rights. These rights are somewhat similar to the rights of a holder of a consensual leave therefore they are not subject to your exemptions.
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Every credit union has their "members" sign an agreement called "cross collateralization" (called set off if a bank does it) which says that if you owe money to them, they can take your deposit account, such as checking or savings.
It is easy to forget this part of the agreement as it is usually presented to you after you have been waiting for a long time to open the account & is in very small print.
Your attorney is correct. I normally advise clients to draw down their deposits at credit unions they belong to that they also owe money to prior to filing of their case to avoid this issue.
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