Nothing is more aggravating than trying to use your debit card at a store only to find out that there is a hold on your bank account. Creditors, government agencies and even the bank itself may place a hold on the funds in your account. If you wrote any checks before the hold, they may be returned for non-sufficient funds and your bank may deduct NSF fees from any remaining money in your account.
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Many banks place a hold on part of any check deposit to ensure that the funds are actually available before you can withdraw them from your account. In 2015, federal law requires the bank to make at least $100 of the deposit available immediately, unless you have recently opened your account. For the first 30 days after opening a new account, the entire amount of the deposit may be held.
If you are not going to be using your account for a specific time period, you can ask the bank to place a voluntary hold on the funds. This prevents any fraudulent withdrawals or purchases from occurring during that time. Frequent travelers often use this option to protect their local accounts while they are away and unable to monitor the daily activity for unauthorized use.
The Internal Revenue Service may place a hold on your bank account if you owe back taxes. Law enforcement agencies may freeze your funds if you are being investigated for fraud. Your creditors may also be able to place a hold on your account, but they must seek a court judgment first. Certain types of income, such as Social Security benefits and child support payments may not be included in a bank hold.