Legal Question in Banking Law in Indiana

Linking Accounts Together

About 1 year ago, my parents put my sister on their checking account so that she could cash her payroll checks. Later on she opened her own separate sole account with the same bank. The bank told my parents that my sister could not be taken off of their account unless she was deceased. On her own personal account she wound up in the negatives and owing the bank their fees for overdafts etc. Without notifying my parents the bank linked my sister's SS# to my parents account and took the money from my parents account. My parents had checks that did not clear because of this and also incurred overdraft fees. It it legal to link accounts together like that and take the money without notice? Please advise what can be done.

Asked on 7/02/03, 12:47 pm

2 Answers from Attorneys

John Bator Bator Redman & Shive

Re: Linking Accounts Together

The Bank is wrong that the only way your parents could get your sister off was by her dying. Also, the law provides that a creditor of one debtor on a joint account can only attach or debit the funds that are the debtor's, so if your sister did not contribute or deposit any monies into the account and your parents can demostrate the funds were theirs alone, the bank has to recredit their account. They need to be told that if this isn't fixed, you will sue them.

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Answered on 7/03/03, 11:04 am
C. David DuMond Law Offices of David DuMond

Re: Linking Accounts Together

Your parent's bank manager needs to be informed that they will sue his pants off if the bounced checks are not made good. First, it is untrue that the sister could only be removed by death; she could be removed with her written consent and I'm sure the bank has the forms to achieve this. Second, it should require the consent of all account holders to link an account. Verify the facts of the matter. Your sister must be a persuasive manipulator and she may have obtained your parents permission to link the accounts.

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Answered on 7/02/03, 5:02 pm

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