Can I open a new checking account during bankruptcy?

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Question:

I had a checking account before filing bankruptcy.  Can I open a new checking account during bankruptcy?

Answer:

The federal bankruptcy code contains no prohibition against opening a new bank account.  The act of filing for bankruptcy does not impact a debtor's right to open a checking account in the absence of certain circumstances such as a significant number of outstanding checks that are implicated in a bankruptcy.  Similarly, if funds are owed to a particular bank and they are included in the bankruptcy, the debtor might have difficulty opening a checking account, although that is improbable.  Upon filing for bankruptcy, the debtor's bank may seize any funds and use them to pay off the outstanding loan(s).   Regardless of whether a bankruptcy petitioner continues paying off his or her loan and sings a reaffirmation agreement, the bank may freeze the funds and make them unavailable.  Therefore, it is advisable that debtors open another checking account at another bank where they did not borrow any funds.

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