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CalAttorney2
CalAttorney2, Lawyer
Category: Consumer Protection Law
Satisfied Customers: 10238
Experience:  I am a civil litigation attorney representing individuals and businesses.
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This may not apply to Estate Law so please direct What are

Customer Question

Hello, this may not apply to Estate Law so please direct What are the laws governing or at least restrictions pertaining to my spouse opening mail that is addressed to me as the primary note holder of a mortgage? Is there a difference between being addressed
Mr. & Mrs. ***** ***** and Fred and Wilma Smith? What legal obligation is the secondary party or Mrs in this case to communicate the contents of the letter in this case the United States postal service? Do they have the authority to solely act on a decision
without consulting the first party? I'm trying to distinguish the authoritative guideline's of what I believe the banking industry views as the secondary party. Thnks
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Consumer Protection Law
Expert:  CalAttorney2 replied 1 year ago.

Dear Customer,

If you have a joint account with your spouse, the spouse/joint account holder has an equal right to the correspondence, and can communicate with the bank and make decisions on the account with complete authority. Being the "primary" borrower in a mortgage note does not entitle one spouse (or one joint account holder) to any greater rights or privileges than the other debtor/account holder.

Mail that is addressed to both spouses (or to two account holders) can be opened by either one.

See generally: http://www.pennsylvaniatrustsandestates.com/2011/05/joint-accounts---yours-mine-and-ours.shtml

and: http://www.centrelaw.com/page.php?id=47

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Sir, I'm not saying her rights are limited.I'm asking about a duty. Obviously there was a reason such a large equity would be in both name's ***** ***** reason has a responsibility, trust or good faith that goes with it. Right? Just seems to make sense. There was 1 part in all that reading that may apply and that was dealing with levels of contributor ship. It was in the first article. This whole sha bang leads up to an insurance issue that took place. Perhaps we aren't connecting or my sense of duty is my own.
Expert:  CalAttorney2 replied 1 year ago.

I'm not sure what you are looking for as an end goal here.

The bank views a joint account as giving either account holder the right to access the information, make changes on the account, withdraw, deposit, or close the account. (I understand we are talking about a mortgage as opposed to a consumer account (checking or savings), but the same rules apply regarding access and control).

The information on contributorship are used in cases where there are 2 co-owners on an account that are trying to sort out who's money belongs to who when there is a dissolution of the account. These are very messy and if you are married, the court isn't even going to entertain the argument - if you are divorcing there may be an issue of "tracing" (finding if money is related to one spouse's separate property vs. common property), but again, with a loan, this is not even an issue).