Can The Bank Take My Money If I Fall Behind On My Debts?

Is it Possible for a Bank to Withdraw Money from My Account if I Lag on my Financial Obligations?

Many individuals grapple with the question, “Can the bank take my money if I fall behind on my debts?” whenever monetary constraints hit hard. The looming dread that your bank might take unilateral action and deplete funds from your account without your consent is truly unsettling.

Whether to prioritize higher interest debt or the one with the greatest value, or even resort to one credit form to settle another, are among the many concerns that arise when debt starts spiraling out of control.

The Abrupt Verdict: Yes, they can

The majority of banks stipulate provisions in their agreements that enable them to utilize funds from one account to balance an overdue debt within the same institution. For instance, consider having a checking account and a credit line with XYZ Bank. If a payment is missed, the bank has the right to transfer funds from your checking account to offset the outstanding debt, enough to bring your credit line back into good standing.

The bank is not obligated to provide prior notice, and they don’t require a court order. It’s even plausible that the bank could reverse a regular payment (like a pre-authorized withdrawal for utilities) to use those funds against your bank debt.

However, there are Boundaries

Without a court order (like a garnishment), a bank’s ability to automatically debit money from your accounts is restricted to debts owed to that institution and those owed to the Tax Authority. Thus, another bank or an independent credit card provider cannot demand your bank to transfer funds to clear your overdue debts.

Therefore, opening an account at a bank where you don’t owe money is a wise move when you first sense financial trouble. Promptly shift all your funds to these new accounts before the bank seizes the chance to deduct from your account. Afterward, start constructing a strategy to free yourself from debt.

Pursue a Lasting Solution

While transferring your funds to a bank where you don’t owe money will prevent them from accessing your account without your approval, it won’t deter them from seeking other measures. The bank will undoubtedly continue with collection calls, and eventually, your file might be sold to a collection agency. This agency might opt for other alternatives, including a court order to garnish your wages, landing you back to square one.

Connect with a Licensed Insolvency Trustee as soon as you feel burdened by your debt. The earlier you engage a professional, the more solutions are available to you, ranging from debt consolidation and budgeting assistance, to potential Bankruptcy or Consumer Proposal.

Heed the Trustee’s Counsel

If you’re contemplating Bankruptcy or a Consumer Proposal, the Licensed Insolvency Trustee will advise you to open a bank account at a different financial institution. Upon notice of insolvency, banks usually set off against any funds still in your accounts. Most institutions seize this opportunity to freeze the account, leaving clients without any funds going forward.

However, both Bankruptcy and Consumer Proposals also provide you with an immediate stay of proceedings against any current and future collections action. Transferring funds to an institution where there are no outstanding debts will protect your remaining funds and allow you to continue paying against your living expenses as you pursue a financial fresh start.

Let us remember, money matters can be complicated. But, understanding your rights and responsibilities can help you navigate financial waters more confidently. So, the next time you ask, “Can the bank take my money if I fall behind on my debts?”, you’ll know the answer is yes, but there are legal protections and strategies you can use to protect yourself.

Find Your Personal Debt Relief Solution

Licensed Insolvency Trustees are here to help. Get a free assessment of your options.

Discuss options to get out of debt with a trained & licensed debt relief professional.