What Are Some Reasons to Freeze a Bank Account?

Reasons that a bank account may be frozen include compliance with a court order, the account holder being declared bankrupt and insufficient funds in the account. A bank account may also be frozen if the bank is notified about a dispute concerning the ownership of funds or account operation, or to protect the account holder, the bank or a third party who has a reasonable interest in the account.

A bank may also freeze a specific amount of money in the account. One example of this is when a court order only applies to a certain amount of money in the account. Any funds over that amount are typically still available for the account holder to use. A partial suspension can also be placed on a bank account that still allows some payments to be made from the account’s funds. For example, when a business account is suspended, the bank may allow payments for employee wages to leave the account.

The bank does not have to inform the account holder before the account is frozen. This is to protect any funds that are currently in the account. Telling an account holder ahead of time gives them the opportunity to withdraw the funds, although the bank must inform the account holder after the account has been frozen.