WIthout the Protection of the Bankruptcy Court, it is legal for a creditor with a court judgment against you to freeze or “attach” your bank account. Some creditors, like the IRS, can go after your account even without a court judgment.

But there are limits to what the creditor can take from your account. If all or some of the money came from sources such as Social Security or a public assistance program, this money would be protected. To prove that you deserve this protection, however, you’ll have to ask for a hearing.