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Marsha411JD, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 19673
Experience:  Licensed Atty, 29 yrs exp in the practice of law.
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In 2003 my husband and I signed a contract with Bank of

Customer Question

In 2003 my husband and I signed a contract with Bank of America for a lockbox. According to the bank, I was listed as primary and he was listed as secondary. In January of 2007, we were divorced and the divorce papers clearly state that all accounts related to Bank of America go to him and I got other accounts with other banking facilities. Evidently he never took the papers into the bank and removed my name from the accounts. The branch is closing and they have tracked me down at a house I bought after the divorce and want me to clear out the lockbox. I explained that I have no legal claim to what is in the box. I went into the branch with my divorce papers and showed them the judgment and asked to be removed from the box. They are refusing and saying since we both signed the contract in 2003, my ex-husband also has to agree to have my name removed, regardless the divorce judgment in 2007. Is this correct? Incidentally, my ex is living in either Thailand or the Philippines and I have no contact with him. I asked his sister to try to contact him to clear out the box. If I were to go in and clear out the box, I believe I would be falsely representing ownership since I have a legal document that says I have no claim to the contents yet they will not take my name off the box. Is this correct? What can I do?
Submitted: 5 months ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Marsha411JD replied 4 months ago.


Thank you for the information and your question. A court order that divides marital property has no effect on a contract with a third party, which is what your lock box contract is. In other words, just like a division of a real property would have no direct effect on a mortgage, an order granting him the lockbox has no effect on the contract. So, the bank is correct. Although your husband may have the right to the contents of the box, you are still on the contract, unless and until you both take the steps to close this account together and him open a new one. Again, just like with real property that is jointly owned with a mortgage on it, the lender doesn't have to release anyone from the mortgage just because one of them has be given the property in the settlement. That would require refinancing.

In any event, you have a few choices here since they are closing their physical facility. Assuming they aren't going to charge you anymore for not clearing the items out, you can just not clear them out and let the bank do with them what they will since you have notified your ex's sister of the issue. Or, you can go and take possession of the items and send them to him, or let him know you have them for him to arrange for pickup. Nothing in your act of taking the items at that closing of the branch of the bank would put you in legal peril as long as he has been notified of the event and where the things are. But again, if you don't want to get involved and the bank isn't going to charge you any money for not taking it, then don't take it if you don't want to.

Please feel free to ask for clarification if needed. If none is needed, then if you could take a moment to leave a positive rating in the box above, I will receive credit for assisting you today. Thank you

Expert:  Marsha411JD replied 4 months ago.

Hello again,

I wanted to touch base with you and make sure that you did not have any follow up questions for me from the answer I provided to you on the 24th. For some reason, the Experts are not always getting replies, or ratings (at the top of the question/answer page you are viewing or in the pop up box for this question), which is how we get credit (paid by the Site) for our work, that the customer thinks have gone through. In your case I received neither.

Please keep in mind that I cannot control the law or your circumstances, and am ethically bound to provide you with accurate information based on the facts you give me even if the news is not good. If you are having technical difficulties with reading, replying or rating,please let me know so that I can inform the Site administrator.Please note that Site use works best while using a computer and using either Google Chrome or Firefox.

In any event, it was a pleasure assisting you and I would be glad to attempt to assist you further on this issue, or a new legal issue,if needed. You can bookmark my page at:

Thank you.

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