I recently closed a credit card account that I possessed with an ex-spouse. My concern is that the aforementioned ex will have the ability to reopen the account with my name still on it.

Note: We were both primaries on the account and have the same rights.

I spoke with the "lender" and they said that the other party will have the ability to request the account be opened. I asked if there was anything I could do to further protect myself from being unwillingly dragged into a commitment. The customer service for said lender has been very short with me and it seems my question is unanswerable to them.

My question is this, can the lender legally reopen a closed account with my name on it, without my prior consent? Is there anything I can do to "beat the system" and ensure that this will never happen?

  • 1
    This should have been addressed in your divorce decree. Was this part of your divorce settlement? If not you may have to go to court again to get this resolved.
    – Andy
    Jan 9, 2018 at 17:36
  • 2
    Questions asking about laws/regulations must include a country code. Jan 9, 2018 at 18:05

1 Answer 1


Remember that some CSRs are not always the best communicators.

Credit card accounts and other loans are not generally "reopened". That is you may close a CC account with bank XYZ, and later call to reopen, but the reality is a brand new account is opened.

In your case your ex-wife is perfectly within her rights to open a CC account with the institution in question. Some might refer to this as reopening their account, but the reality is this will be a new account in her name and potentially anyone she wishes to share it with. I think this is the question that the CSR was answering. Sure she can open an account in her name, but you would not have any rights on that account.

She probably has the ability to fill out the form and open an account jointly. That is she can fill out a credit app with your SSN and sign your name. However, that would be fraud. If this does happen, you can go to the police and have them fight your battles. You can inform the issuing company of the fraud and supply them with the police report.

The bottom line is you cannot control the ex's actions. However, as long as you do not give permission to open a joint account with her (or anyone else) you are protected by identity theft laws.

Don't lose sleep over this one. Sorry for your troubles.

  • Thanks for clearing things up. Everything you said makes sense so I don't think there's anything to worry about.
    – hack3rfx
    Jan 10, 2018 at 20:20

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