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Help. I’ve been sued in New York. Can my accounts in my home state be frozen?

New York State laws are friendly to creditors. When a creditor gets a judgment against you in New York State, its attorney can freeze any account you have with any institution that has any address in New York. America’s major banks have branches in almost every state. No matter where you opened your account, if that bank has an address or branch in New York, a judgment-creditor can freeze your account by sending a notice to the New York branch or office. The same is true if you have an account with American Express or PayPal or any other credit card processor with a New York address. The following are some other credit card processing companies that are registered to do business in New York and can therefore be restrained no matter where your account is:

Bluepay Processing, LLC

Braintree Payment Solutions, LLC

Cayan LLC

Elavon, Inc.

Electronic Payment Systems, Inc.

First Data Corporation

Homeland Payment Systems

Vantiv Ecommerce, LLC

Besides freezing the account, the judgment-creditor can grab any monies that the bank or credit card processor is holding. To do this, the creditor can issue an execution to a City Marshal or Sheriff who need only serve a notice by mail to the New York address. The creditor can start a legal proceeding against the bank or credit card processor to grab the funds. These remedies are permitted no matter where in the country the account is located. Berkshire Bank v. Tedeschi, 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 32930, 1:11-CV-0767, N.D.N.Y. [2016].


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