Can a bankruptcy attorney reverse a bank account seizure? 17 Answers as of January 16, 2012

I have a judgement against me and my business (a NY LLC) and my bank accounts have been frozen. Is my money gone?

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The Law Office of Marvin Wolf
The Law Office of Marvin Wolf | Marvin Wolf
As a general matter, not necessarily. The creditor would fist have to file a turnover motion for the funds. A prompt bankruptcy would invoke an automatic stay to prevent the funds from being permanently transferred. If the account were listed as an asset and exempted, an attorney would be able to file a motion to have the funds returned.
Answer Applies to: New Jersey
Replied: 1/16/2012
The Law Office of Darren Aronow, PC
The Law Office of Darren Aronow, PC | Darren Aronow
If the bank account is a personal account and is frozen, and not seized, then the bankruptcy should release that account.
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 1/3/2012
Lakelaw - Loop Bankruptcy
Lakelaw - Loop Bankruptcy | David Leibowitz
In some instances, a bank account seizure can be reversed as having impaired an exemption. Section 522(h) of the Bankruptcy Code can be helpful. Discuss this with your attorney.
Answer Applies to: Illinois
Replied: 1/3/2012
Indianapolis Bankruptcy Law Office of Eric C. Lewis
Indianapolis Bankruptcy Law Office of Eric C. Lewis | Eric Lewis
If the funds on deposit have been setoff against a debt, they are gone. If they are exempt in part, you may recover the exempt amount of funds either through applicable non-bankruptcy law or via the bankruptcy when the automatic stay goes into place.
Answer Applies to: Indiana
Replied: 1/3/2012
Neighborhood Law Office, P.C.
Neighborhood Law Office, P.C. | Jim Underhill
It depends on information that I do not have in the question. First, if the "seizure" is a garnishment, a filing will cause the garnishment to be released right away and you will have access to the funds. Of course, if the account is a business account and not personally owned, you would have to file a business bankruptcy. If it is personal then you would file personally. If the seizure is other than a garnishment, or if the bank has already paid the funds to someone else, then the answer becomes more complicated. For example, when a garnishment has been paid over to the creditor within 90 days of the bankruptcy filing, the trustee has the ability to pull that payment(s) back. However, those funds would go into the estate, not back to you. Finally, you should know that if you have a small business in trouble, there may be much better ways of winding up than bankruptcy, particularly if you want to continue in the same business in a new company. Your best bet is to find a good lawyer who provides advice on this kind of issue on a regular basis and review your specific facts. The lawyer will be able to give you an analysis of the law and your options.
Answer Applies to: Colorado
Replied: 12/30/2011
    J.M. Cook, P.A. | J.M. Cook
    No. In most cases, if you or the business filed (depending on which bank account you are talking about), the money would be released.
    Answer Applies to: North Carolina
    Replied: 12/30/2011
    Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney
    Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney | Janet Lawson
    Sometimes it can be done there is the cost vs benefit factor to weigh in.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 12/30/2011
    Ryan Legal Services, Inc.
    Ryan Legal Services, Inc. | Kevin Ryan
    The disposition of the funds is not a simple issue. First, if the funds were taken from you personally, within 90 days of the filing date of your bankruptcy case, the bankruptcy Trustee has a claim under 11 USC 541 to recoup the funds for the estate as it would be considered a "preference." However, as is the case in many bankruptcy flings with a bank attachment, the amount of funds is often under $1,000.00, and the Trustee may not otherwise be interested in pursuing recovery (and administration of) such a small amount of funds. That issue must be resolved in context of what other funds are available to the bankruptcy trustee (i.e., are there tax return funds or other liquid funds subject to turnover in addition to the attached funds?) If the trustee has no interest, then the funds attached within 90 days of case filing may find their way back to you if the creditor voluntarily sends them back the municipal court where the attachment originated post-judgment in a civil case previously filed against you. If not, you will probably have to pay your bankruptcy attorney to pursue recovery of the funds, and if the amount is small, it may not be worth it.
    Answer Applies to: Ohio
    Replied: 12/30/2011
    The Law Offices of Kristy Qiu
    The Law Offices of Kristy Qiu | Mengjun Qiu
    It could take some time but yes a bankruptcy attorney can unfreeze your accounts upon motion to the court. And no the money is not gone unless the creditor put a lien on the account or they have a seizure order.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 12/29/2011
    The Stockman Law Office | Mary Stockman Esq.
    It depends is it frozen or taken. Also if it is your primary residence is FL and which bank accounts. Are there personal or business? You should get an attorney asap to take care of this and provide all the information.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 12/29/2011
    Grace Law Offices of John F Geraghty Jr.
    Grace Law Offices of John F Geraghty Jr. | John F. Geraghty, Jr.
    Yes the Trustee can possibly as part of the Bankruptcy Plan.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 12/29/2011
    Mazyar Hedayat and Associates
    Mazyar Hedayat and Associates | Mazyar Malek Hedayat
    Yes, filing bankruptcy causes an Automatic Stay to descend, suspending all attempts by creditors to collect from or execute interests in property of the debtor. This means that wage garnishments, foreclosures, citations, repossessions and account freezes must stop. Talk to a Bankruptcy Attorney in your area about getting your bank account under control and freeing up your assets.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 12/29/2011
    Bankruptcy Law Center
    Bankruptcy Law Center | Bill Zurinskas
    In Colorado, it is possible to reverse a personal bank account garnishment by filing a claim of exemption, as long as the funds in the account came from an exempt source.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 12/29/2011
    Diefer Law Group, P.C.
    Diefer Law Group, P.C. | Abel Fernandez
    You could file a bankruptcy and list the amount taken from your account as exempt. However, you have to file a motion requesting that the funds be released to you. If the money was taken before you file, then you might not get it back.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 12/29/2011
    Law Office of Christine A. Wilton
    Law Office of Christine A. Wilton | Christine Wilton
    If the judgment creditor has seized your bank accounts, it's very likely that the money is gone already. If you file for bankruptcy protection, it is possible that can be reversed, but only if the money has not already been given to the creditor. It's also possible that the trustee may have the power to reverse that transaction as a preference to that creditor over other debts you may owe.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 12/29/2011
    Judith A. Runyon, Esq. Attorney at Law
    Judith A. Runyon, Esq. Attorney at Law | Judith A. Runyon
    The bankruptcy Trustee assigned to your case has to authorize it to be unfrozen.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 12/29/2011
    Ashman Law Office
    Ashman Law Office | Glen Edward Ashman
    Maybe and maybe not, depending on when it happened, and a great deal of information not in your post. To the extent some or all of the money can be recovered, if you wait too long to hire a lawyer and file, you will lose money you might have kept.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 12/29/2011
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