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Ely, Counselor at Law
Category: Consumer Protection Law
Satisfied Customers: 99502
Experience:  Private practice with focus on family, criminal, PI, consumer protection, and business consultation.
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I received a bank levy on my checking account. The bank did

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I received a bank levy on my checking account. The bank did not do a 2 month look back to see if I had any federal benefits that were protected, which I did. I receive social security disability which is exempt from garnishment. The bank froze my account which contained 754.00, my SSD benefits are 2202.00 per month. Does my bank have any kind of liability for their error. They won't even admit to their mistake. This is in Minnesota
Hello friend. My name is XXXXX XXXXX welcome to JustAnswer. Please note: (1) this is general information only, not legal advice, and, (2) there may be a slight delay between your follow ups and my replies.

I am very sorry for your situation.

Does my bank have any kind of liability for their error.

Yes, it does. If it froze money that was yours, and this caused you injury, then they may be liable.

To sue in a state court, one needs to have a "cause of action." There are numerous causes of action, such as "breach of contract," "negligence," "fraud," "unjust enrichment," etc., as well as causes of action rooted in statutory law. Every state has their own although they are very similar to each other in every state because they all stem from the same common law. A pleading in Court needs at least one cause of action, although it is not unusual to have more than one.

Here, they may be liable for negligence. The basic elements necessary to maintain a claim for negligence are (1) duty; (2) breach of that duty; (3) that the breach of duty be the proximate cause of plaintiff's injury; and (4) that plaintiff did in fact suffer injury. Schmanski v. Church of St. Casimir of Wells, 243 Minn. 289, 292, 67 N.W.2d 644, 646 (1954).

Here, you could say that they had a duty NOT to freeze whatever assets were exempt, but did. Whether or not you wish to pursue this in court is up to you.

At the same time or in the alternative, you may file a complaint with the MN Department of Commerce here, and have the state investigate and possibly fine/admonish them.

Good luck.

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Customer: replied 3 years ago.

We were told twice by them one of which was the manager of the bank that they could not release the money. They said the law firm was the only one who could do that. I told them that the funds in question were SSD. They won't even make an apology. I asked them for the person I could make a complaint to and they sent me the name and title and address where I could make my formal complaint to their bank. This caused much problems as they bounced checks, I had to stop automatic payments. They did refund the Overdraft charges and the levy fee, but I still think they should do more, including an apology. What are your thoughts


The bank may not always do what is right. What someone in your situation needs to do is to go to the court that has authorized the freeze (that would be the one that rendered the judgment) and file a post-judgment motion asking the Court to relieve you of the freeze, or at least, the money that cannot be frozen due to private creditor.

An attorney is recommended for this. If finances are an issue, I can recommend three resources. First, here is a list of all pro bono work in the state...

…and another list:

Finally, you may call your local law school and see if they have a legal clinic place available. The legal clinic is a free service the school(s) provide to the community. While they are often overbooked, they have openings sometimes. Here is the list law schools in your state:

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Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you for help. I appreciate it.Smile

You are very welcome. Good luck, and please don't forget to rate my answer in one of top three faces and then SUBMIT – it is the only way I get credit for my time with you – or, please REPLY to keep on chatting – I want you to be satisfied.
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