How to Know if my Bank Account is Garnished: Steps, Avoid It and MORE

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Citizens must pay off all debts that they have in a bank account. If this is not taken seriously, the account can be seized as it happens in the Spanish territory. But, you may be wondering How do I know if my bank account is garnished?

In this article, we will help you and explain every detail of this important issue so that you can pay off your debts.

How do I know if my Bank Account is Garnished?

First we must begin that the seizure of a bank account is a procedure in which the public administration or in that case a judge is in charge to settle the debt that the citizen has pending.

Garnishment is a common method of collecting outstanding debts. This can be ruled by a judge to settle a lawsuit filed by the courts.

It is important to note that once the accounts are frozen. The financial institution will act as a mediator between the debtor citizen and the creditor. As indicated by the Article 592.2 of Law 1/2000 of Civil Procedure.

You must bear in mind that the citizen becomes aware of the embargo, when his funds are blocked and they have not been communicated previously. This is why it is advisable to attend the bank to fix the matter.

How to Know if my Bank Account is Garnished: Steps to Follow

Citizens should bear in mind that the procedure for seizing a bank account is not long, but for you to be clear about it there are two extremely important steps:

  • If a person stops paying a loan that he had requested, the bank will begin to charge him interest.
  • If the citizen does not pay for a while, he will be on the black list where he will not be able to access financial products in other entities.
  • In case the debt continues, now the Public administration or in that case, the judge will send an order to the financial institution to block the money it owes.
  • The bank has the obligation to inform the debtor that the account will be retained. In other words, the amount should be highlighted and a means of contact should be placed so that the affected citizen can solve the problem he or she has with the debt.
  • It is important to note that the withholding can only be made to the balance that has embargo date. In other words, the bank cannot leave a trace on the account.
  • You should be aware that a bank account cannot be seized without prior notification.

How to Know if my Bank Account is Garnished: What Does Garnishment Involve?

As we have mentioned at the beginning of the article, the seizure of a bank account is carried out when an order is issued by the public administration or a judge to freeze all assets, in order for the citizen to cancel the debt they have.

This implies that the freezing of the balance is a measure by the public administration or as a result of a decision by the courts, adopted during the judicial procedure.

This is done in accordance with the article 592.2 of the Law 1/2000 of Civil Procedure, which when the seizure procedure is carried out, will be carried out between the debtor and the creditor. But failing that, what is confiscated most of all is current accounts, which are more expensive to execute.

Who is authorized to do it and how long does it take?

It is important to note that there are two types of garnishment, the first is a payroll garnishment and the second is a garnishment through a bank account.

  1. The payroll garnishment: First this procedure is carried out by the company that pays the debtor’s salary. And it retains a part of the debtor’s payroll and in the delivery of the entity that it determines.
  2. And the seizure of a bank account, it is carried out electronically through a computer system of the judged citizens. According to this, the balance reflected in the account is retained.


They should keep in mind that liens end until the debt is paid. However, according to the Civil Procedure Law, it highlights that it does not have an expiration date, so it must be covered with the amounts governed by the judge.

You must bear in mind that when the Public Administration seizes the account, the debtor has to disposition 10 days to claim or disagree with the seizure.

How can it be avoided?

Spanish citizens should bear in mind that there are measures that they must apply to avoid having a bank account seized, the following can be mentioned:

  • The person must recurrently review every day the debts or payments that are pending so that they are not forgotten. For this reason, we recommend that you enter the web pages or in bank applications, so that everything is under control.
  • You can request a payroll advance. In other words, some financial entities give users this advance to verify if they have outstanding debts and avoid seizure.
  • For your safety it is necessary that your money be distributed in several bank accounts. The garnishment is only made on the available balance, if you do not have enough to pay off the debt, the public administration or judge will submit a new order.

How to Know if my Bank Account is Garnished: Frequently Asked Questions

In this type of situation, citizens may have doubts and concerns about what may happen, and we will clarify everything related to this issue below.

Question 1: Can the citizen open an account if one has it seized?

You must bear in mind that the seized accounts are registered. That is, if the citizen tries to evade the embargo by passing the money to another bank account, the court or the administration will find out about the situation.

Question 2: Can all of a person’s savings be garnished in their bank account?

No, the seizure of a bank account is made effective through certain sections according to the balance available in the account, this is established through the Civil prosecution law, for the following:

  • If your balance is less than minimum interprofessional wage (SMI) , they cannot make the decision to seize you.
  • In this case, you have a balance double that of the SMI, you must apply the 30%.
  • If you have one that triples the SMI, the fifty%.
  • The balance is four times greater than the SMI, the 60%.
  • If the stored balance is greater than one fifth of the SMI, the 75%.
  • Finally, if the balance is greater than the previous amount, the 90%.

It is important to note that the entire salary cannot be withheld in full, according to the law it prevents the entire amount less than the Current SMI of 950 euros.

Question 3: Can they seize without prior communication?

As we have indicated, the banking company cannot carry out the seizure without having previously communicated the situation. In addition to the notification you receive from the administration or by the judge who ordered the seizure, the bank must call you quickly about this problem so that you can act according to the term and the rights determined by law.

Question 4: How does a bank account garnishment work?

Citizens should bear in mind that there are some key points to understand how this type of situation works:

  • The seizure of bank accounts is when the funds that the debtor has in the bank are frozen.
  • Then, the financial institution retains the balance that the debtor contains in his bank account.
  • The injured person must notify him by means of a statement of the situation, that his account will be seized and the amount that he will have to pay

Question 5: How much money can they garnish in the bank account?

It is important to note that the amount to be garnished cannot exceed the debt itself. For example: if the debt were 2,000 euros, they can only retain that amount and no more. But with this, two situations can happen:

  1. Has the amount enough money to pay off the determined debt. In this case, if you pay off the debt, you will be able to continue managing your account without any inconvenience.
  2. If it does not contain enough money to pay off the debt, so if it is seized you will not have resources. But in this case, according to the law, it prevents taking away with the entire salary.

Finally, people must give a good image and to begin with, they must comply with the responsibilities they have with the financial institution. That is to say, cancel payments on time, so as not to have future debts and that in the end the assets are frozen.

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