Frozen Bank Accounts (in Indiana)

Money on deposit frozen? We can help

It doesn't get much more frustrating than finding out your  bank account has been frozen and you cannot access the funds on deposit. This can happen when a creditor has a  judgment against you and in some cases, such as child support, tax liabilities  and other obligations, no prior court involvement is needed at all. When a creditor obtains a judgment against a "judgment  debtor," the "judgment creditor" can ask the court for an order freezing any  assets belong to the judgment debtor, including checking, savings, credit union  and similar accounts. The account may be "exempt" in part, or in whole, depending  on the type of funds on deposit.

Notice Required by Indiana Law
Indiana law requires that upon freezing an account, the bank  must send the judgment debtor information that contains:

  • Notice that the account has been frozen
  • Notice of the court and case number
  • Notice of the right to a prompt hearing
  • Notice of the hearing date set regarding the freeze
  • Notice that certain funds are exempt from execution

What Creditors Can't Touch
Certain funds are either partially or fully exempt from  execution to satisfy an outstanding judgment under federal or Indiana law. Those funds include:

  • Benefits derived from Social Security
  • Veterans' benefits
  • Certain retirement accounts and benefits
  • Some or all funds belonging to joint depositor(s)
  • $400 of any other funds (for a debtor domiciled in Indiana)

Request an Exemption Hearing

To get "exempt" funds freed up before the hearing date set in  the notice received, one must ask the court for a prompt "exemption hearing. The purpose of the hearing is for the court  to determine the extent that the funds on deposit may be exempt from execution  in satisfaction of the judgment.

To get a hearing, fill out the form provided in the notice  and send one copy to the court for filing and one copy to the attorney who  represents the judgment-creditor. If no form was received, simply write a letter or prepare a legal "motion" requesting  the hearing. Under current Indiana law,  the hearing should be set within five days of receiving the request for a  prompt hearing.

Rights of a Joint Depositor
If a spouse or other joint depositor is on the frozen  account, that person has the same rights and responsibilities regarding a  prompt hearing. If the joint depositor  is not subject to the judgment and corresponding order that froze the account,  funds traceable to that depositor are exempt and should be released. It is most important for the depositors to  trace the source of the funds on deposit to determine what is exempt from  execution.

For More Information:
Contact Lewis Legal Services, P.C. for advice on whether your rights have been infringed or if you need to act to release frozen bank funds that you desperately need - do not sleep on your rights! Contact us today.