Why Has My Bank Account Been Deactivated?

Most consumers use one or more bank accounts to manage their money. Savings accounts allow you to earn interest and work toward savings goals while checking accounts offer the flexibility or writing checks or using a debit card to make purchases. But all types of bank accounts are subject to deactivation under the right circumstances, which can cause confusion or inconvenience.


Debt Collection

If you have outstanding debt, your creditors may be able to freeze your bank account, which causes it to appear deactivated. You won't be able to withdraw funds or make instant transfers. A creditor's right to freeze your bank account depends on your state's laws, but your bank should notify you of the action and supply information about which funds are exempt from the freeze and available for you to use.


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Account Cancellation

If you request that your bank close an account, it will become deactivated. The account may still appear for a short period of time on your online banking profile or when you use an ATM, but you won't be able to add or withdraw funds. Some accounts will deactivate automatically when you roll them into new accounts. For example, if you renew a certificate of deposit or money market account, and make changes that result in a new account number, the old version of the account will no longer be active.


Technical Issues

Bank accounts are subject to technical issues that can cause temporary deactivation. This can occur when someone accesses the bank's computer system without authorization. It can also happen when the bank's servers, which hold customer data and account information, experience technical problems. If your computer or home network have problems receiving data, your account may appear deactivated or impossible to access, but once your service is restored your account will function normally.


Avoiding Fraud

In some cases, notification of your bank account's deactivation may be a fraudulent attempt to access your personal information. In an Internet scheme known as phishing, an individual may send you an email that appears to come from your bank. The message will generally state that your account is deactivated and ask you to write back supplying personal information, such as your account number, Social Security number, name and address to reactivate the account. Check to see if your account is active by logging in online or calling your bank directly instead of replying to the email.