Does being a joint bank account holder make you responsible for overdrafts?

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Does being a joint bank account holder make you responsible for overdrafts?

My dad put me on his bank account, as a joint account, in case something happened to him. He passed away 3 weeks ago. He collected social security, which was direct deposited into the account. Apparently he had a cash advance every month from the bank, around $800. Well, the bank took their money when the check came in, like they do every month. Social security took what was left in the bank and took the rest of the social security check after I told them about my dad’s death. Today, I got a letter from the bank saying I’m overdrawn by $800. Am I responsible to pay that debt since I’m on the account?

Asked on April 13, 2012 under Bankruptcy Law, Florida

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

If you are a named joint owner on a bank account, you are under the laws of all states in this country an owner of it. Being an owner of it provides you with the good and bad of having an ownership under it. As such, you would also be responsible for paying the bank any overdrafts under this account that it covered for you and your father.

If your father took the money out resulting in the overdraft charge and repayment, he ultimately is responsible to you for paying it to the lending institution assuming you do so. Since your father passed, his estate is ultimately responsible for repaying the lending institution the money advanced under the joint account.


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