In Oregon, if a judgement has been entered against you and you have not filed  bankruptcy, the judgement creditor can garnish your bank account. Once your bank account is garnished, you will receive a challenge to garnishment form which is sometimes also referred to as a Claim of Exemption. Once you receive it,  you will need to complete the form and file it with the court as quickly as possible in order to claim that your property is exempt from garnishment. After you file a Challenge to Garnishment, there will be a court hearing in which a judge will determine whether your account is exempt.

Unfortunately, until the court determines that the money in your account is exempt (sadly needing to keep the money is not an Oregon exemption), your account will be frozen. You will not be able to withdraw and money or write checks, even worse the checks that you have already written will now bounce.

If you do have judgments it is probably high time to consult with a bankruptcy attorney. Even if you believe that you can ultimately handle your debts on your own, it is worth considering whether Chapter 13 bankruptcy might be a better framework for trying to repay some of your debts that risking going it alone. Most of us really can’t afford to even temporarily lose access to our accounts, let alone having them frozen and losing every dime.