Feb 19

Is It Wise To Bank Where You Owe

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I recently ran into a question from someone about being discharged in Chapter 7 bankruptcy, and wanting to know if the lender might attempt to remove money from the bank account held with that lender. This seems to come up a lot after a bankruptcy and some Banks seem to think that their contract set off rights, that is the right to use the money in a customer’s savings or checking account to pay a debt to the bank, trumps the discharge in bankruptcy. It does not, the discharge eliminates the debt and no one has the right to try to collect it after the fact. That is the law, but what about how it all works practically? After the bankruptcy court issues a discharge and closes the case, if a bank does this, it can get expensive to get that money back. First the debtor has to pay to a couple hundred bucks in filing fees plus attorney fees to file a motion to reopen the bankruptcy file; then the customer/debtor has to pay some more attorney fees and filing fees to file another motion for contempt against the bank to get an order to get the money back. That, is a lot of time, money and effort to solve a problem with a very simple answer. It is far easier not to keep your money with the same bank to which you owe money, ever, whether bankruptcy is an issue or not. This is one of those many situations where a little common sense and street smarts will save a great deal of anxiety and effort.

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