Legal Question in Credit and Debt Law in Massachusetts

My grandmother wanted to buy me some new furniture for my apartment. She wanted to open a store credit account, but she doesn't know how to use the internet. So she gave me her social security number, and I opened an account for her. Foolishly, I used my home address instead of hers, just so I would be getting the monthly statements in the mail instead of her. So now the store credit account has been closed, and the bank has been calling her home for credit fraud. She has dementia, so the calls are confusing her and upsetting her. How should I fix this? Will they punish me greatly for this mistake? None of us are her power of attorney yet so will the bank let us call on her behalf?

Asked on 11/30/16, 4:13 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

Jed Berliner L J Berliner

You had your grandmother's permission when you opened the account. The only wrong information is the address. Apparently they got her correct phone number so they have not been hurt.

Send the bank a letter with grandmother's correct address, which they probably have anyway. You're not authorized to do so without the power of attorney but do it anyway. Return the bills "Not at this address".

Most important, who's in charge of grandmother's finances? Anyone can pay the bills with their own money,even without a power of attorney. They only care about the money. But a power of attorney is needed to write checks from grandmother's accounts.

I'm so sorry about the dementia. That just stinks.

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Answered on 11/30/16, 4:31 pm

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