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Moral question of the day

Long story short, an ex of mine kept a joint account open that I'd been told by her (and confirmed by the bank, who obviously confirmed wrong, after I signed the forms and they had contacted her to do the same) was closed. They've now sent me a new card and a pin for it.

Went in, asked about it, I can close it on my own once it's in credit. Checked 2 months worth of statements while I was there and it goes anywhere from about £600 credit to into the overdraft by about £500 every fortnight or so with payments and direct debits etc in and out.

As I don't trust her to close it after last time and with her obviously knowing it's still open as she's using it, I'm checking the balance each day, waiting for it to be in credit then going to the bank that day to close it.

My moral question is - do I keep the money or offer it her back?!

She's cost me plenty over the years in stuff I had to sort out to do with the house we had after she left it in a state, and also solicitors fees on selling etc, so I am very tempted to say sod her and keep it, it evens that out.

But then she has a baby under 1 and I don't know her current financial situation beyond this account and the fact she rents a reasonable house, and essentially I'm not enough of an arsehole to want her not to be able to buy milk etc if she couldn't without that money. She'd not have the overdraft without it too, but frankly that's tough.

Thoughts?!
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Comments

  • If you are even asking the question, you already know the answer. Be kind. Life is too short for bitterness and wrong-doing.
  • edited January 2015
    I'd agree, but as I said, she has cost me a lot in terms of me paying to sort out and sell a house we both owned - plumbers, plasterers, council fees that we owed, water bills, solicitor's fees etc.

    If I'd paid them out of a supposed joint account to make up half I don't think there could have been any complaints. As it is I have money outstanding in credit card debt because of it, that this would pay off.

    And legally, it is. She has deliberately lied to me to keep this money technically still in my name.
  • Davo55 said:

    If you are even asking the question, you already know the answer. Be kind. Life is too short for bitterness and wrong-doing.

    You're probably right - the annoying line between doing what would be pretty fair to be honest and being decent.
  • She's one big tit.

    I've definitely upgraded since, put it that way.
  • She has a kid, who needs money more than you do, you may literally cause a huge problem if you do that and who knows what impact it would have on that Child,

    It's not your money and I'd bet you could get nicked for taking it

    It's not worth it surely
  • If it's in a joint account in my name I'm sure there's no legal reason I couldn't take it.

    Moral, yes. Didn't stop her screwing me for money I couldn't afford (and I have a daughter), but then I doubt that would have crossed her mind when it does mine.

  • Sometimes being morally higher will provide greater satisfaction, than actually taking something you know morally ain't yours, I think this is one of those times
  • Id advise freezing it once it's in credit and make her go to the bank with you to have your name removed before it's Un - frozen.

    The money isn't yours so surely having your name off the account is all you need?
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  • Id advise freezing it once it's in credit and make her go to the bank with you to have your name removed before it's Un - frozen.

    The money isn't yours so surely having your name off the account is all you need?

    It is my main concern, yes. As I can close it on my own when it's in credit, I'll do exactly that rather than freeze it so I'll know it's sorted.

    In all likelihood I'll then send her a message saying you want the money let me know where to transfer it to.

    Just feels like getting robbed then telling the thief they dropped their wallet and handing it back over!
  • Id advise freezing it once it's in credit and make her go to the bank with you to have your name removed before it's Un - frozen.

    The money isn't yours so surely having your name off the account is all you need?

    It is my main concern, yes. As I can close it on my own when it's in credit, I'll do exactly that rather than freeze it so I'll know it's sorted.

    In all likelihood I'll then send her a message saying you want the money let me know where to transfer it to.

    Just feels like getting robbed then telling the thief they dropped their wallet and handing it back over!
    But if she has a young kid and direct debits coming out........

  • If it's a joint account then that means you are both jointly liable for the operation of the account.
    You definitely need to ensure you're removed from the account and you should probably remind the bank that they processed a request previously to that effect.
    Legally if it's joint then the money belongs to both of you - however from the moral point of view it's only hers.

    And as others have said, she has a baby and life is too short to rake over a difficult past. Whatever you do you will need to speak to her about it. If you close the account yourself, you could be causing her problems with access to funds when she really needs them and that really isn't helpful. As you've said, wait for the account to be in credit so you're not lumbered with picking up half an overdraft...
  • You need to get your name removed, especially if there is an overdraft as you are jointly liable for the debt if she doesn't repay it, which could ruin your credit rating.

    Go to the bank the day it is in credit and get your name removed, with signed paperwork from the staff. Then check up in a week's time that your name has been removed. If you are ever called upon to pay the debt, provide the evidence from the bank that your name was removed.
  • Id advise freezing it once it's in credit and make her go to the bank with you to have your name removed before it's Un - frozen.

    The money isn't yours so surely having your name off the account is all you need?

    This sounds like a sensible way to proceed.
  • As others have said, I wouldn't touch any money. She probably doesn't even realise it's still in joint names so you can see all that she is doing. And if she does then she is foolish. Either way, do the right thing, get your name off it and move on.
  • Taking the money would be theft...
  • Your best way of making money out of this situation - which is what it seems you want to do - is to raise a formal complaint with the bank, that they have incorrectly and inappropriately included you in a financial contract (for the joint account) when it should not have done. Tell them this has caused you problems and request an ex gratia payment. You'll get £50 or so and an apology. Give us the name of the bank and I'll tell you who to write to.
  • edited January 2015
    Well, as it isn't your money, you don't offer it back to her. You GIVE it back to her. Do the right thing.
  • Take it, spend it on drugs and hookers and then send her a photo of you doing both.

    Seriously, don't take it. Be the bigger man.
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  • This isn't even a question surely

    Why would you think it's reasonable behaviour to close her bank account ?

    Grow up and think about something vaguely important
  • Take it, spend it on drugs and hookers and then send her a photo of you doing both.

    Seriously, don't take it. Be the bigger man.

    VG, now you've said that, my viewpoint has changed.
  • Easy one, close the account definitely, give her the money, and wave goodbye to her out of your life. By the way, it sounds like a plot from Emmerdale.
  • Just talk to her, tell her you're taking yourself off the account. Job done isn't it?
  • BTW, are you sure she kept the account open? Perhaps she just went back to the same institution at a later date and opened a new account and they recycled the account number (as they do otherwise they'd run out of numbers - modulus validation hugely reduces the numbers available) and kept you on it by mistake.
  • Closing the account seems to just be something you would do out of spite. Take your name off it. Get proof you've done it. Then contact her to tell her you've done it too. That way she'll know you've been able to see what she's been doing with her money which might cause her to sharpen the f*uck up a little bit about her finances.

    No matter how much you rationalise it, you still come across as being a bit childish if you close the account from under her without her knowing. If you actually take the money, you're being childish AND a bit of a cock. If the money she owes from having you sort the house out is important to you, why haven't you pursued it with solicitors?

    Seriously - just walk away. Be the bigger man. Recriminations and childishness might feel good at the time, but in the long run, you gain far more from just being the better person in a break up
  • Granpa said:

    Easy one, close the account definitely, give her the money, and wave goodbye to her out of your life. By the way, it sounds like a plot from Emmerdale.

    She's got direct debits coming out of it which would bounce and wreck her credit rating. That would be a particularly harsh and vindictive thing to do.
  • My concern would be any potential adverse effect on my credit record because of the account going into overdraft (even if authorised).

    Send a copy of the confirmation you received from the bank saying the account was closed to the bank telling them that your name still appears to be associated with this account and you want it removed forthwith together with further written confirmation that it has been.
  • Neil obviously we don't know one another but you seem a really decent bloke. I have tried to live my life doing the right thing as much as possible even at times when it has been to my disadvantage which has meant that I can rest easy knowing I haven't wronged someone and made their life worse.

    I think the best advice so far is to wait until the account is in credit and then transfer it over into your ex partners name. That way you haven't made her life harder, that chapter of your life is complete, you can't get a shitty credit rating because she has massively overdrawn. But the best thing is that in years to come when you are fat and happy (like me) you can look back and be content that you didn't do anything bad.

    sorry if this sounds a bit like The Waltons mate but really there is nothing like peace of mind for making your life easier (apart from £50m in the bank)
  • If it's in a joint account in my name I'm sure there's no legal reason I couldn't take it.

    Moral, yes. Didn't stop her screwing me for money I couldn't afford (and I have a daughter), but then I doubt that would have crossed her mind when it does mine.

    2 wrongs don't make a right.

    You sound like you have moved on and she maybe isn't doing quite so well. My advice would be to get your name off the account as quickly as possible and carry on with your life.
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