A joint bank account gives more than one person access to the funds in the account for writing checks and making withdrawals. Joint accounts work well for teenagers and parents as well as for spouses who comingle their finances. If a situation changes and you no longer want to share an account with someone else, you’ll need to remove your name from the joint account. Each financial institution has its own process for handling name removals from accounts.
Contact the bank to find out the process of closing the joint account. If the bank is local, visit the bank in person. If you can’t visit the bank in person, call a customer service number, having your account number ready to provide to the representative.
Inform a representative that you want to remove your name from the joint account. If you have the designation of “primary” account holder, you should be able to move forward with removing your name, according to the Carolina Postal Credit Union. Removing your name in this situation will restructure the account from joint to single, creating a new account with a new number for the other account holder.
Fill out a form to request your removal from the account if you’re not the primary account holder. Sign the form and submit it to the bank. The bank will notify the primary account holder for permission to proceed. It’s necessary to notify the primary account holder before moving forward, because the bank will restructure the account and issue a new account number to the primary account holder.
- Removing your name from a joint credit card account is slightly different. You’ll have some factors to consider, including any account balance that exists and the status of each account holder, states attorney Jay S. Fleischman, with Shaev & Fleischman, a financial consulting firm. If the account has a balance due and your status is that of “joint owner,” you have liability for the debt. If you were only an “authorized user,” you aren’t liable for the debt. Contact the credit card company about removing your name and you’ll probably get forms to complete. Return the completed forms by certified mail and wait for the credit card company’s decision. Contact them to follow up if more than 60 days go by without receiving a decision. If you can’t remove your name from a credit card account, close it to protect yourself from future debt.
- Depending on the type of account, a bank might analyze the remaining account holder's financial information to make sure she's a safe financial risk after removing you from the account, warns Capital One. If the bank determines that the remaining account holder isn't a suitable risk without you as a joint owner, the bank may close the account.
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