My parents have a joint account along with separate accounts and credit cards, before my dad passed away there was about 5000 in their joint account, and after he passed away my mom put in another 4000 before she went to chartway to notify them that he passed and his account needed to be closed. They immediately closed her out of her joint account and took all 9000 to apply it to my dads credit card, that was only in his name and on the contract he never signed the part that allowed them permission to apply his money to his credit card at the time of death. Were they allowed to go into the joint account to do this? We've tried to contact estate lawyers, along with other ones, but no one has an answer for us on how to get the money back.
Yes, they can under debt collection efforts. Bank Creditor can garnish a bank account jointly owned by a couple. A creditor can take money from joint savings or checking account even if your mom doesn't owe the debt.
Please note that my answer is general advice only and no attorney-client privilege attaches. It is a simple free "internet answer" and is not a clear substitute for retaining an Attorney for your case's resolution. Good luck.
Financial institutions have rights of offset or setoff. Under Virginia Code Section 6.2-617, the right to setoff, however, is subject to contractual provisions and the debtor's proportionate right to the account, which, in the absence of proof of net contributions, is presumed to be equal. Thus, your mother may have a right to half the $5,000 in the account initially, plus all of the $4,000 she subsequently deposited.
Your mother should consult with an experienced creditor-debtor lawyer to discuss all the facts and her options.
The foregoing is intended to be general legal information concerning Virginia law based on the scenario as written and not legal advice to anyone in particular. The information provided should not be relied on as legal advice or as an appropriate basis for any legal action, and it's provision does not establish an attorney-client relationship with the reader. Information shared or provided on a public forum is obviously not confidential or private. Every situation is unique and you should always immediately consult with a Virginia attorney to discuss all your options in light of your particular circumstances before acting.
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