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As you may see from the history of my questions, my ex-wife is a financial disaster. Forever out of money, forever on the edge of crisis, forever not wanting to hold down a normal 9-5 job. But show her an "opportunity of a lifetime" or a get rich quick scam and she's all over it. And she's too old to learn otherwise.

I found out the other day that she created a bank account with my son's SSN and in his name. My son is 17 years old. This in itself is not bad since it is unlikely to ruin his credit score/history. But I know what's coming next - she'll try to create credit card accounts in his name and SSN, and then not just not pay. I know this because she continually tried to do this with my name and SSN.

Questions:

  1. How was she able to create a bank account without my son present? He was unaware (unless he's covering for mom, but I doubt it) of the new account.
  2. What can I do to prevent her from creating either bank or credit card accounts?
  3. Is she legally allowed to open accounts in minor's name (bank or credit)?

This is in USA.

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    This is fraud. Thus, two questions: (1) Does she know that it's fraud? (2) How much are you willing to hurt her to protect your son? – RonJohn Jul 4 '17 at 4:56
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    @Aganju That's not helpful. This is inherently an emotionally-coupled situation. A person very close to me had this happen to them when they were even younger than the son is here and they had to claw through so much bullshit to get their credit back on even keel. If you're not going to answer the question at hand with some level of sympathy and understanding of the wider picture, then keep quiet and let others do so. That attitude is so toxic on this platform. – PrometheanVigil Jul 4 '17 at 16:23
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    @PrometheanVigil , I disagree. This is not the Dr. Joe psychological care column, but a forum where questions are answered in a generic way so it is it helpful for others. I understand the personal situation and feel with him, but the emotional content is obsolete in a year, the question and its answer is not. It is customary to not add rants, emotion, and irrelevant personal details in questions here, and it is customary to point this out in a friendly way. – Aganju Jul 4 '17 at 17:40
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    @Aganju I am not emotional. The details provided serve to inform the reader that I know what my ex's next step is. Everything I mentioned actually happened in the past - all of it facts. – NeedAdvice Jul 5 '17 at 6:42
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    @RonJohn 1) I doubt it - she doesn't think in those terms. 2) I'll do whatever is needed to make sure my son doesn't enter his adulthood with a messed up credit score. – NeedAdvice Jul 5 '17 at 6:44
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  1. How was she able to create a bank account without my son present? He was unaware (unless he's covering for mom, but I doubt it) of the new account.

If a parent has access to the birth certificate, social security card, passport, and other legal documentation indicating family relationship along with the minimum balance, I expect either online or in-person creating a Joint Tenancy With Right of Survivorship account wouldn't be too difficult and allows for either party to add or remove funds.

Conceivably the bank account could have been created as a Custodial account but risks when the son reaches the Age of Majority on the account she would lose control.

  1. What can I do to prevent her from creating either bank or credit card accounts?

If you have access to the above mentioned documents and depending on parental rights assigned after the divorce you can follow what is suggested in this link:

https://blog.smartcredit.com/2011/07/28/what-age-can-i-have-a-credit-report/

to get the credit reports. The credit reports should list what lender accounts are tied to your son.

They won't list any 'credit' assets like savings or investment accounts: http://www.myfico.com/crediteducation/in-your-credit-report.aspx

As suggested a credit freeze would be appropriate. If he has reached 18 already, he can do it himself.

  1. Is she legally allowed to open accounts in minor's name (bank or credit)?

Unless she under a Termination of Parental Rights order what I mentioned above should still hold.

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    1. I inquired with the bank. The account is in my son's only. It's not a custodial account. I guess I should have mentioned in the question that the reason she did this is because she passed bad checks (stolen ones) and got placed on some bank list and now most major banks won't her open a bank account. 2. Tried to get credit report online via the annual free credit report mechanism - couldn't. 3. So basically yes. – NeedAdvice Jul 5 '17 at 6:47
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Next time you are with your son, have him request a credit freeze. The choice is his, of course.

  • This doesn't address bank accounts, and what to do about accounts already opened. – Andy Jul 4 '17 at 22:39

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