can a debt collector take money out of my checking account?

by Liz
(Secaucus, New Jersey, US)

If a judgement is against me, can the debt collector take the money out of my checking account? Do I have a right to keep a certain amount of money in my account that they cannot touch?

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Oct 22, 2010
Can a debt collector take money out of checking account
by: Mary

Thanks for submitting your debt collection question on our Q&A page.

A debt collector with a judgment against you is entitled to collect the amount of that judgment in various ways -- by garnishing your wages, taking one or more of your nonexempt assets (assets that are not protected from the collection actions of a creditor or debt collector), putting a lien on a nonexempt asset you may own, and by taking money out of your bank account.

If a debt collector is about to begin taking money from your bank account, a certain percentage of the wages you earn will be exempt or safe from the garnishment. The percentage varies by state. To find out what it is in New Jersey, contact a consumer law attorney in your area with experience helping consumers resolve debt collection problems or call your State Attorney General's office. Also, certain other types of funds are also exempt, like Social Security payments, Veteran's benefits and other government benefits, child support, alimony, money from a pension or other retirement benefits, and so on. However, it's always best to keep all exempt funds in an account that is separate from the money the debt collector is entitled to take.

Again, if you have any questions about the debt collector and your bank account, contact a consumer law attorney in your area.

Please share what happens with your situation in the comments section for this question. We are very interested in hearing how this turns out for you, and your experience can help others who are struggling with debt collectors.

Dec 01, 2014
debt collections
by: Anonymous

my husband is deceased,am I responsible for his medical debts if they are all in his name//?my only income is ss and retirement.

Reply from

We're sorry to hear of your loss. In community property states, spouses may be liable for their spouse's medical debts. In other states, the may be responsible under Doctrines of Necessaries. However, even if you are, it also sounds as though there are not really an assets from which they can collect. It would be a good idea for you to talk with a consumer bankruptcy attorney. We're not saying you need to file or anything, but the attorney can tell you what your responsibilities and options are. You can get a free initial evaluation with a bankruptcy attorney.

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