Seasoned Knoxville Attorney Helps Clients Avoid Frozen Bank Accounts
Determined Tennessee lawyer works to dispute and prevent bank levies
A bank levy is a legal order that gives a creditor permission to take money directly from a specified checking, savings or investment account belonging to a debtor. If a court issues a levy, your financial institution will freeze your account so that you cannot spend or withdraw money. A frozen account can cause serious hardship. At the office of William E. Maddox, Jr. LLC, Attorney at Law in Knoxville, I assist Tennessee residents who need help preventing and fighting bank levies. With a strong focus on debt relief, my firm develops strategies fitted to the financial circumstances of each client.
Experienced counselor offers guidance for avoiding levied bank accounts
To obtain a bank levy against you, creditors typically must win a legal judgment establishing that you owe them a debt. However, the IRS, U.S. Department of Education and other federal entities can seize assets without obtaining a court order.
A notice that you are being sued over a debt or a Notice and Demand for Payment are among the serious warning signs that your bank account could be frozen. You may be able to successfully dispute a levy and stop the freeze if you can show:
- The debt is invalid — The debt is invalid if the creditor’s claim is no longer enforceable because the statute of limitations has expired. A debt may also be invalid due to the creditor’s accounting error. If you doubt the validity of a debt, an attorney can determine whether you actually owe the money requested.
- The debt is not yours — You are not legally responsible for a debt that resulted from identity theft. By presenting strong evidence that someone else incurred the debt in your name, you might avoid liability.
- You were not previously notified — A creditor might have used the wrong address or phone number while attempting to contact you or may have failed to properly serve you with a lawsuit. When you were not given a chance to respond to the debt or dispute it, the creditor’s bank levy may be unwarranted.
A levy is different from a lien in that a levy is used to seize your property whereas a lien is a legal claim against a piece of property to secure a debt.
Ignoring debt collection efforts or failing to show up for court can result in an automatic judgment against you. By contacting an attorney when you are in danger of forced debt collection, you may have a better chance of avoiding a frozen account.
Skilled bankruptcy lawyer advises clients on how to protect assets from levies
Filing for bankruptcy is another way to prevent a creditor from initiating a debt collection lawsuit or obtaining a levy. After you file for bankruptcy, an automatic stay goes into place to stop creditors from trying to recover payment. By declaring Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 in Tennessee, you also have the benefit of being able to use the wildcard exemption to protect up to $10,000 in personal property from creditor collection. This exemption can allow you to hold onto the funds in your account while you embark on a Chapter 13 repayment plan or a Chapter 7 debt discharge. To discuss whether bankruptcy is an advisable option for stopping a frozen bank account, speak with a qualified lawyer.
Contact a strategic Knox County bank levy attorney for help fighting bank account freezes
At William E. Maddox, Jr. LLC, Attorney at Law in Knoxville, I assist Tennessee residents facing bank levies and frozen accounts. Clients in Knox, Anderson, Roane, Blount and Anderson counties trust my debt relief guidance. To schedule your free initial consultation, call 865-293-4953 or contact me online.