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What Happens During Bank Account Seizure?

If a creditor garnishees your bank account, all the money you owe can be taken from your account. Your financial institution will send you notice that it has received a garnishee summons against your account. Unlike wage garnishment, where all your wages cannot be taken, garnishment of your bank account means that all the money you have deposited at your financial institution may be taken.

Can All the Money in a Joint Account Be Taken?

Joint accounts may be garnisheed but the amount taken from these accounts is proportional to the number of account holders. Usually, only one person’s money in the joint account is garnisheed.

If your employer direct deposits your wages to your bank account, you will need to make an application to the court so that these deposits have the same exemptions as wage garnishments. If you don’t apply for this exemption, your employer’s direct deposits will be regarded as bank deposits and may be taken in their entirety.

If the only money in your account is from payments under the Income and Employment Supports Act, the Assured Income for the Severely Handicapped Act or Widows’ Pension Act, this money cannot be garnisheed. Deposits from other sources may be garnisheed.

Can You Stop Garnishment?

It is possible to stop or change the terms of garnishment through a court order. This process will require the advice of a lawyer.

How Long Can Your Accounts Be Garnisheed?

Garnishee summons are valid for 60 days against a bank account but a creditor can apply for renewal of the summons at that time.

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