What your bank CAN and CANNOT do when you file bankruptcy
I make it a habit to advise clients to move their bank accounts prior to filing a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 if they also owe a debt to their current institution. This is especially true if they bank with a credit unition. The reason is that there are some actions the bank or credit union can take that will make a debtor’s life difficult. These are legal restrictions of services and NOT a vioaltionof the automatic stay that a bankruptcy provides. The In re Spearman (W.D. Ky 2017) makes this very clear.
A bank or credit union likely will have a policy that allows them to stop providing certain services to customer if the customer files bankruptcy or otherwise negatively impacts the bank through their actions. The most common service that makes life difficult is the cessation of any electronic access to the debtor’s accounts. This means no online access to statements or to view their accounts. It also means no more use of a debit card at a store, restaurant, ATM, etc.
What a bank or credit union cannot do is deny access to the funds in your account. If there is money in a checking or savings account, they have to give it to you. They have to honor checks written on that account (so long as funds are available) and they have to let you show up in person and withdraw funds. They must tell you what is in your account if you come to a branch.