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What happens if a bank account is garnished for an amount more than the available balance?

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tkessandoh asked:

My friend just got his account garnished today by american express for $19,800. He only had $400 in the account. Now is HSBC bank account balance is (NEGATIVE) $19,400.

Does that mean American Express got there money and he owes HSBC? Bank?

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5 Responses to “What happens if a bank account is garnished for an amount more than the available balance?”

  1. jennifer says:

    more times then not he now owes the bank not American express

  2. Stephanie says:

    Holy crap. I dont think a bank would do an over draft for 19K …. wow… thats a new one. They more than likely didnt take it unless he normally has a large amount in his bank account.

    Man that means the D.A. can come after him for theft if he doesnt pay that bank back. Surely that wouldnt happen but in todays world the law is on AMEX side.

  3. STEVEN F says:

    The bank messed up. a garnishment CAN’T overdraw the account. On the other hand, if any money goes into the account, it belongs to AMEX until the full amount of the garnishment order is satisfied.

    One ‘exception’ to the above is if there WAS $19,800 when the garnishment hit, and the overdraft resulted from OTHER transactions that hit after the garnishment.

  4. Andrea T says:

    Your friend needs to check with the bank tomorrow. More than likely, because it hit on the same day, that is why it is showing a ridiculously overdrawn amount. Someone probably just got the notice an put a hold on the account for the amount of the notice. Obviously, they can’t take more than is there.

  5. sasil85 says:

    No. What will happen is the item will be returned. Basically the money isn’t there so it has to go back. The bank isn’t going to cover a tab that big. So he still owes American Express. Might want to tell them to stop doing that or else he is going to get hit with fees.

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