Shared Account Ownership

Shared Account Ownership

What you'll learn in this article

This article describes how a Shared account is owned, and what that means from a legal perspective. The information you'll find here is super important, and it's a good idea to read through it before opening a Shared account.

Who "owns" a Shared account?

Brace yourself: we’ve got some important legal information to share with you, and it’s going to involve some alarming hypotheticals. We hate to be a downer, but preparing for the unexpected is a key part of smart financial planning.

To help prevent these hypotheticals, we recommend opening a Shared account only with someone you know and trust completely. Take the time to talk about your financial histories and the way you’re planning to use the Shared account before opening it.

Who can withdraw funds from a Shared Account?

Simple Shared accounts are co-owned; each of the joint owners has the legal right to all the funds in the account and the ability to close it without the other owner’s permission.

If you open a Shared account, and the other account owner withdraws all the funds, Simple is not able to pull the money back or cancel any external transfers. (Though you might be able to recover the funds by taking legal action.)

What if a Shared Account balance is negative, or one owner owes money?

Both account owners are responsible for any negative balance in a Shared account, and they’ll both be liable if the account is closed for that negative balance or fraud. Plus, Simple can offset a Shared account’s negative balance by pulling funds from either person’s individual account, even if they weren’t the one to draw the Shared account negative.

Co-ownership also means that the account is subject to levies or garnishments for both owners; if a creditor or governmental agency has a valid levy or garnishment order, the entire balance of the account can be frozen and given to the creditor (even if the order only applies to one account holder).

What if something happens to one person on a shared account?

All Simple Shared accounts are opened as joint accounts with Right of Survivorship. This means that if one of the people on the account dies, their right to the funds in the account immediately transfers to the other account owner (not to the estate of the deceased owner). If you have an end of life document, it’s a good idea to talk to a Trusts and Estates attorney before opening a Simple Shared account.

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Important! This account is for your personal use only

An increasing number of customers are being targeted by fraud scams. Before you apply, review these guidelines to help prevent you from being involved in fraudulent activity.

Do not open an account on behalf of someone else
If anyone asks you to open a Simple Account to receive funds, it is an attempt at fraud. Common fraud attempts include requesting that you open an account to receive a gift or bonus offer, obtain a job or job training, or help someone else receive funds (such as unemployment benefits).

Do not share your login or account information with anyone
Neither Simple nor any other legitimate institution will ever ask for your account information. If any third party requests your Simple Account login information, it is an attempt at fraud. Sharing your account information with another person or allowing someone else to use your account to receive funds is a violation of the Simple Deposit Account Agreement terms and conditions and can expose you to fraud.

Actions we may take if fraud is suspected

We take fraud and security very seriously at Simple, and take rapid action in the instance of suspected fraud attempts.

We may freeze and close accounts
We may freeze and close accounts if fraudulent activity is suspected, including the following circumstances:

We will report fraud attempts
We are responsible for reporting fraud attempts to authorities, including attempted unemployment fraud. There are state and federal penalties for unemployment insurance fraud (including potential fines and incarceration). If you suspect you are a victim of unemployment fraud, contact the appropriate state fraud hotline listed here.

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