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  • Writer's pictureRobert Weed

How to Avoid a Bank Account Garnishment

Updated: Jan 8, 2022

Virginia courts have jurisdiction over people and businesses located in Virginia. So it is easy for a Virginia court to garnish your bank account if that bank has a location in Virginia. (It's the location of the bank, NOT the location of the account, that matters. Maybe you opened an account at Bank of America when you lived in Maryland. A Virginia court can easily garnish that account, because Bank of America also has banks located in Virginia.)

It's very hard--I can't say impossible--for a Virginia court to garnish a bank that's NOT located in Virginia. But how easy is it open a bank account at a bank that's NOT in Virginia? Yeah, that's now easy. We are now seeing these online banks that don't seem to be located anywhere. (Obviously they do have a headquarters somewhere, like New York or San Francisco, but NOT Richmond.)

The two online banks my clients have mentioned to me the most are Chime and Greendot. Neither of those seem to be listed as best with the consumer recommendation articles I've read.

Nerdwallet has this list. Discover. One, Varo. Monifi. TIAA. Ally. Alliant Credit Union.

Money Lists Axos. Ally. Varo. Quantic. Discover.

We are now seeing online banks that don't seem to be located anywhere. They are very difficult for a Virginia court to garnish.

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