I received a garnishment on my account 🔎
What is a garnishment?
If you have run into debt, the party that you have debt with can place a garnishment on your bank account. The party can do this by themselves or by using the services of a bailiff. This way, the bailiff or the institution can retrieve any outstanding costs that you owe to that party.
Who can place a garnishment on my account?
Several institutions can place a garnishment on your account such as the Tax Authority, the Unemployment Benefit Agency or the Central Judicial Collection Agency.
A bailiff can also place a garnishment on your account. The bailiff needs a court order to do so. This court order is delivered to bunq by the bailiff. A judge can rule that the money on your account must be used to pay off your debt. bunq is obliged to comply through a garnishment process. Garnishments are levied by the bailiff, not by bunq.
What steps do you take when my account is facing a garnishment?
Step 1. Seizure
When we receive a court order to garnish your account we block your account and we seize the funds on your account. We transfer your funds into an internal bank account owned by us. In this internal account, your money will be reserved for the bailiff. After the funds have been transferred, you will regain full access to your bunq account. The new funds that come in after the garnishment was placed are not part of this garnishment.
We transfer all your funds to this internal account unless the garnishment states that there is a garnishment free feet. The garnishment of free feet is based on your family composition: a €1.661,40 for a single person, b. €1.779,52 for a single parent, c. €2.199,34 for a married couple without children, d. €2.317,54 for a married couple with children.
Step 2. Statement
After the funds have been seized, bunq has to send a third-party-statement to the bailiff or institution that placed the garnishment on your account. The third-party-statement should include the amount of funds that have been seized.
Step 3. Transfer
After the bailiff or other institution receives our third-party-statement, they will send us a letter stating how much of the seized funds we have to transfer to them.
What are the costs of a garnishment?
We are by law required to process a garnishment. For every garnishment that is placed on your account we charge €80,-.
Can a bailiff ask for information about my bank account prior to a garnishment?
Before a bailiff is placing a garnishment on your bank account, the bailiff is allowed to ask whether you have a bunq account. This is by law, according to article 475aa Rv. We as a bank are required to answer this question.
I have another question about a garnishment placed on my account. Who do I contact?
You can at all times contact us via firstname.lastname@example.org. If you have questions about a garnishment, you can also reach out to the bailiff that placed the garnishment.
How to avoid negative balance and debt?
To give you the freedom to use your account on your terms, we ensure that you can't fall into debt by not offering loans, credit or overdraft. This way you can freely use your money without the burden of debt.
However, there are few occasions when you might have a negative balance on your bunq account.
In order to avoid the negative balance, you can transfer money to your IBAN from one of your other accounts that has enough funds, or you can use one of the other top-up methods to add money to your bunq account.
As soon as you resolve your negative balance, your bunq account will be reactivated right away and you will be able to use it normally again. More info can be found here
You can always set a savings goal to help you out with saving money, it’s really easy to set up one - just follow the process explained here 🚀
Want to learn more?
Explore more bunq knowledge here 🌈