Joint bank account with wife as first holder

service

Hi All

I am involved in a legal dispute with my wife. We have an old bank account where she is the first holder and I am the second holder (either or survivor mode). Without my knowledge she had given instructions to the bank to freeze that account. Recently a large value cheque was issued on that account ( redemption of a bond purchased 10 years ago ). I had bought these bonds in her name. In good faith, I send that cheque to her requesting her to deposit it in the bank.

Out of vindictiveness. she is not prepared to unfreeze the account and deposit the cheque and is holding that cheque with her.

Can you advise a valid legal remedy in this matter - freezing a joint bank account without the other account holder's knowledge & permission / refusing to deposit a valid cheque just to harass the other account holder.

Any guidance would be appreciated.

Warm Regards

  

 
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Advocate

Bank can't freeze the account simply by one partner application but it depends on the ground taken in the application. If the partner is the joint account holder and part of the signing authority, then the bank can act on his instructions too, however it may be noted that it was he who approached bank before you could.

If she is not agreeing for any compromise in this regard and is not willing to unfreeze the account, you my issue a legal notice to the bank manager and include her as another party to the notice stating that the freezing of the joint account on the instructions of one account holder is illegal hence to unfreeze the same immediately or to face the legal consequences through court of law or consumer forum.

If the cheque is on her name, she may deposit the same in any other bank where she has an account, you cannot do anything about it other than approach court with evidences climbing the same on the basis of the evidences in your possession to prove that it was in fact your money which was invested on her name then.

 
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Advocate

Surely some reason behind it. state the facts clearly. without reasons a joint holder would not  given sudden request the banker to freeze it. Did you approach the banker regarding the reason for freezing the account? what is their reaction? Ascertain the details and approach a local lawyer and get clarity

 
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service

Mr Sankaranarayan

Thanks for the response. As I have mentioned earlier the reason is vindictiveness. This is a petty act to harass the other party. The bank staff has told me that account has been frozen due to a written request from the account holder.

Thanks once again for your advice.

regards

 

 
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In my opinion, bank can't freeze your joint account on request of one partner.Bank can allow either partner to operate account jointly or severally but neither close nor freeze account on one partner's request.Banks such act comes under purview of their deficiency in services for that you may knock the doors of District consumer Forum or make complaint to Banking Ombudsman in this regard.

 
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Retired employee.

1. For making any modification in operational instructions of the existing arrangement, such instructions must be signed by all the account operating depositors.  The bank is not legally correct in withdrawing such either-or operational direction without notice to the other depositor.  But the easiest process for a banker is to freeze the account and stop operations in case of disputes between the operators. with a notice.  They do not take any risk.  File online complaints on the website of the bank, wait for their response and approach both Banking Ombudsman and the District Consumer Forum.  The costs may not be more than Rs.100/in all and you can demand compensation and harassment for freezing.

2.There is no law that mandates any person to deposit a cheque in her name to any particular Bank Account only.  The cheque is in her name, and she can deposit with any bank or any account as and when she likes.   If the cheque was in her name only, she can open a savings bank account or credit cheque in any other existing bank account standing in her name alone.

 
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service

Thanks Mr Goyal. Good advice this.

 
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Advocate

You may issue a legal notice to the bank for freezing the joint account without the consent of the joint holder and demand the bank to unfreeze the same immediately or else you can approach consumer forum for deficiency in service by the bank.

Before that ascertain if the bank is right in its action by sending  representation to the higher official of the bank.

 

 
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