How to Restore Your Suspended Bank Account
When your bank account is suddenly suspended, this can be an alarming situation. Depending on how you realize your account is frozen, you might experience embarrassment, frustration, and even a spike of fear. Why did the bank suspend your account? What about your money? Is there financial or legal trouble you don't know about?
Don't worry. Take a deep breath. If you are looking at a, the next steps you take are important. Keep a level head and use the tools available to you. When it comes time to appeal your account, DoNotPay can help you push the matter to a deciding authority.
This is a practical guide on what to do if your bank account has been suspended.
It's Probably Okay: Why Bank Accounts Get Suspended
The first thing to know about bank account suspensions is that they happen all the time, and you are probably okay. Banks are required by federal and local laws to do everything they can to protect your money and prevent fraud. That means they are very light on the account suspension trigger finger.
If there's a question, even a suggestion, that your account might be at risk or involved in suspicious activity - even without proof - they will suspend the account. So if your account is suspended, there's a good chance that a quick phone call or a brief investigation will clear up the issue. Your money is probably not at risk, and you will likely see the inside of that account again.
Why Banks Suspend Accounts
- To protect the account from:
- Unusual activity.
- Suspicious transactions.
- Potential identity theft.
- Potential spouse or partner theft.
- Potential card theft spending.
- When suspicious activity is detected such as:
- Large unexpected sums.
- Depositing or cashing invalid checks.
- Transactions from overseas, out of state, or foreign nations.
- Frequent cash transfers.
- Rapid withdrawals.
- Sudden change in account details.
- Account activity matches a pattern of potential criminal behavior.
- Unpaid debt collection such as:
- Delinquent mortgages and car loans.
- Child support and divorce settlements.
- Student loans and back taxes.
- Judgment and liens from civil lawsuits.
- In compliance with the police
- If you, a shared account-holder, or the account are of interest in an ongoing case.
- If your account is connected in any way to criminal activity.
When Bank Suspensions Are a Mistake
- Someone else with your exact name.
- A debt collector files a false report.
- Your travel was mistaken for identity theft.
Assume the Bank Is Trying to Help
Most people have a better time restoring their suspended account if they assume the bank is trying to help. The majority of temporary bank account suspensions are protective actions. After all, you can even have your account temporarily frozen if your card is lost or stolen or if you suspect a co-account holder of wild spending.
Any time the bank has any reason to doubt your card might have been stolen or your account hacked, they will enact a temporary freeze - even if they are not so prompt about sending you a message regarding the matter.
Unless you have reason to be nervous, most people can assume the bank wants to restore their account and is trying to act in their best interest. They are federally mandated to do so, and bank officers can go to jail if they don't.
What to Do if Your Bank Account Is Suspended
It’s easy to feel panicked when you are suddenly locked out of your bank account. Here are some basic steps that you can take:
- Call the bank.
- Visit your nearest bank branch.
- Expedite any investigation.
- Demand account access.
Call the Bank
Get on the phone. Most of the time, your bank is looking to touch base and confirm that all transactions have been intentional. If you suddenly bought gas across state lines, the bank might assume this is identity theft. A phone call can have your account unsuspended on the spot for small security blips and misunderstandings. And if you were given a bad check or some other issue that needs resolving, you can start the ball rolling immediately.
Visit Your Nearest Bank Branch
Go to a bank branch in person, if possible. Banks sometimes require the account holder’s personal appearance to confirm your identity. This may be applicable for accounts suspected of fraud or identity theft. You can bring documents of proof and work directly with someone who cannot hang up or transfer you if the issue is tough to sort out.
Expedite Any Investigation
Cooperate aggressively with any investigation into your account if you're sure that any wrongdoing is a mistake or merely adjacent to your account. If your activity was flagged as suspicious but was fully legitimate, you can clear this up by providing proof of your activities and transactions. And if you've been the victim of fraud, you may become a witness, or your account may serve as evidence in a crime that otherwise doesn't involve you.
Demand Account Access
Once everything has been officially made clear, you can demand access to your account. Your bank must make a decision and cannot hold your money indefinitely. You can do this by drafting a demand letter to their corporate headquarters with the help of DoNotPay.
Are You At Risk of Identity Theft?
Stop. The one thing everyone should do after their bank account has been suspended - for any reason - is check themselves for identity theft. Make sure your accounts are secure. Do an audit on your recent finances to make sure you recognize every transaction. Identity theft and quiet financial fraud happen all the time, sometimes over months going undetected.
Prune your subscriptions (make sure no one's haunting your Netflix) and get an identity protection check service if there is an additional reason to be concerned. Now might also be a good moment to change your passwords and delete a few old accounts to reduce the risk of any identity theft in the future.
Get Your Bank Account Back With DoNotPay
Your bank is legally required to freeze your account when it sees something suspicious. But they are also required to return access to your money and account if there is no wrongdoing. If your bank is delaying the restoration of your , DoNotPay can help you push that approval forward with an official demand letter.
We will take the legal route to let your bank know that they must respond to your account restoration within two weeks, or legal action will be taken. From there, you are within your rights to file a lawsuit regarding the handling of your funds and account with indefinite and unresolved account suspension.
DoNotPay will help push your bank to complete their investigation, make a decision, and restore your account by drafting and sending a legal demand letter to corporate.
All you have to do is:
- Log in to your DoNotPay account and locate the Unban My Account product.
- Answer a few questions related to your banned account.
- Click on the Sign and Submit button.
DoNotPay will generate a customized appeal letter in less than five minutes and send it directly to the company. It will contain a two-week deadline for the company to respond.
Tips to Avoid Temporary Bank Account Suspensions
- Let your bank know before traveling. A quick update about your travel plans can ensure that the first time you use your credit card in a new state ensures that it does not get flagged.
- Keep a steady pattern of payments and withdrawals. Unusual deposit or withdrawal activity can be a yellow to red flag on the account.
- Keep up with debts and handle bad debt collectors. Debts are one of the less pleasant reasons your account can be suspended. Make sure to keep up with payments and take action against debt collectors who seem willing to use underhanded tactics.
- Resolve marital or divorce matters. Shared accounts between spouses and divorce-related disputes can result in account suspension.
- Alert your bank to unusual activity beforehand. If you are a contractor about to get a big lump payment from an overseas client or make a big withdrawal to buy something in cash, give your bank a heads up to avoid red flags.
DoNotPay Can Help You Appeal Banned or Suspended Accounts on Any Platform
DoNotPay can help you appeal any banned account with a legal demand letter. Here are a few other critical accounts you may wish to restore.
What Else Can DoNotPay Do?
DoNotPay was founded on making life easier, saving money, and cutting the red tape when pointless bureaucratic barriers get in your way. We can take the legal shortcut with tactics like sending a demand letter to corporate to end bad customer service or keep the customer-down service policies. We have dozens of tools and online services that you can explore.
Here are just a few other account-related services we offer among the many handy life shortcuts to choose from.
- Deal with identity theft.
- Sue anyone in small claims court.
- Draft child travel consent forms.
- Analyze the Terms of Service (TOS) in various companies.
- Draft personalized legal documents.
- Get a tailor-made divorce settlement agreement.
- File an insurance claim the quick way.
- Recover forgotten passwords.
There are likely more than a few tasks on your to-do list that we can make easier, faster, or no trouble. Sign up with DoNotPay today and change the way you do things.