Can My Old Bank Take Me to Collections for a Checking Account? – Mark

“Dear Steve,

In 2006 I had a joint checking account with my mother when she shortly passed away.
It was then that the bank informed me that I need to make some payments to cover my mother’s expenses which I did.

Other expenses followed but these were bank fees which caused the account to be overdrawn according to the bank.

To the best of my knowledge I don’t owe the bank anything.

Now 5 years later I received a letter from a collection agency that I owe them $800 (including interest)!

Can they garnish my wages in Washington if I don’t pay?

I have filed chapter 13 in 2008 for other reasons but did not include the bank unfortunately.

I barely make it every months with rent and other expenses but if they would garnish $800 I would be on the streets since I couldn’t pay my rent.

Thank you.


Dear Mark,

If you were a joint account holder and the account was not closed and incurred additional fees, charges, or penalties then you would be responsible for them.

However the first step should be for you to talk to your 2008 bankruptcy attorney about the matter of this debt being out there but not included in your bankruptcy by oversight. If you bankruptcy was successfully discharged by now it may no longer be an issue.

Let’s start with your bankruptcy attorney first and then come back and post an update in the comments below.


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Damon Day - Pro Debt Coach

Steve Rhode

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