What is an 'Account Freeze'

An account freeze is an action taken by a bank or brokerage that prevents any transactions from occurring in the account. Typically, any open transactions will be cancelled, and checks presented on a frozen account will not be honored.

Account freezes can be initiated by either the account holder or a third party.

BREAKING DOWN 'Account Freeze'

An account may be frozen by government or regulatory authorities because of suspicious activity, suspected criminal activity, civil actions or liens filed against the account. Furthermore, a bank or brokerage account may be frozen when the account holder dies. Once the appropriate documentation is presented, a new account will be opened in the beneficiary's name with access to the assets.

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