Frozen bank account

Authority Revenue Services of BC, Ministry of Finance

Tara called us when she found out her bank account had been frozen and her paycheque was going to be taken by the Ministry of Finance in collection of a debt. Tara told us that she had spoken to a collection officer working on behalf of the Ministry of Finance the previous month who requested financial information. Tara said that she gave the collection officer everything requested. She was distressed when two weeks later, she received a Demand Notice and her bank account was frozen. Tara’s paycheque was scheduled to be deposited automatically the next day. She was concerned about the ministry taking her entire paycheque as she had four children to support.

We called the ministry the same day Tara called us to investigate whether the ministry’s process had been fair and reasonable. Tara told us that she did not receive notice of the collection action and she was under the impression that a payment plan would be negotiated. Our discussion with ministry staff led us to conclude there seemed to have been a communication breakdown. Ministry staff said they were concerned about Tara’s financial disclosure and that she offered a low amount for repayment. Tara told us that she was willing to negotiate the payment amount and cooperate with the ministry to work out a solution.

After discussing the matter further, the ministry offered to release the freeze on Tara’s account the same day so she wouldn’t lose her paycheque. Ministry staff said that they were willing to release her account for 21 days to give Tara the opportunity to negotiate an acceptable payment plan. We arranged for the department manager and Tara to meet so that Tara could work out the terms directly with the ministry. Tara thanked us for our help and we closed our file as resolved.

Category Income and Benefits
Type Case Summary
Fiscal Year 2012
Location Vancouver Island / Sunshine Coast