Having your bank account on hold, or frozen, can be a result of a newly deposited check, an impending charge or a creditor levy. For example, the government has rules for when certain types of checks and amounts must be made available for your use. Removing the hold is not always possible. However, there are some techniques that you can try to either cancel the hold completely or shorten the duration so that you can have access to your funds.
Ask the bank to release your hold sooner, especially if the deposit was a local check. Although, your financial institution has a right to hold your check between one to 11 days, depending on a variety of factors, it is not required and can be released from hold at the bank's discretion.
Remove a hold faster by depositing a check into your account on a day before another business day. If you make a deposit before a weekend or holiday, it may be on hold until the next business day, which can be three days later.
Give hotels and car rentals your debit card number prior to arriving at your destination. Holds are placed on bank accounts for impending debits and prevent you from using the money for something else sooner. When you check in to your hotel or rent your car, ask that the hold be removed or pay in advance with cash or a check.
Show that the account belongs to your spouse, too, if your funds are on hold because of a collection of a debt in your name alone by court order. Also, if your name is on an account with someone else, such as your child, explain to the bank that you don't use it and the money doesn't belong to you.
Show that funds in your account are from Social Security, child support or government assistance payments. Money from these sources cannot be frozen because of a creditor levy, so these funds should be released by the bank for your use.
- MsMoney.com; How Long Can a Bank Hold Your Check?; Jill Terry; 2006
- Comptroller of the Currency Administrator of National Banks: Answers About Funds Availability
- Federal Trade Commission: Credit and Debit Card Blocking
- Law Offices of Steven J. Richardson P.C.: What Do I Do If A Creditor Levies on My Bank Account?
- Bankrate.com; Bank Account Levy Is Heavy Burden to Bear; Steve Bucci; 2010