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cfortunato
cfortunato, Attorney
Category: Bankruptcy Law
Satisfied Customers: 8023
Experience:  Bankruptcy professor.
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Mother added her sons name in her credit card acct. a few

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Mother added her son's name in her credit card acct. a few yrs. back after opening acct. to help her son build credit.Now she is filing for BK 7 .
1) Can she call up creditor to remove her son's name from acct. before she files for BK?
2) what is the implication if she does include or exclude the acct. in her filing?

cfortunato :

Hi - my name is XXXXX XXXXX I'm a Bankruptcy and Consumer Protection attorney here to assist you.

cfortunato :

Was the son added as an authorized user or as a joint account holder.

Customer:

yes

cfortunato :

Which one?

Customer:

i am not certain but son is auhorized to use it

cfortunato :

In most cases, someone added to an account is an authorized user, as a joint account holder has to apply to be added to an account; whereas the original account holder can add any authorized user without the anything further from the authorized user.

cfortunato :

In any event:

cfortunato :

1) Yes - the mother can call and request that her son be removed as an authorized user.

cfortunato :

2) She does not have the option to exclude this account from her Bankruptcy filing, as all accounts must be included.

Customer:

if son is actually a joint acct. holder, can she still remove son from the acct. w/ creditor?

cfortunato :

No - if the son is a joint account holder, then the only way to remove her son would be to close the account.

cfortunato :

Which would not remove the son's liability for that account - if there is a balance owed.

Customer:

1)I believe she can only close the acct. if she pays the balance in full ?, so if she files for bk her liability is extinguished but son will be liable?

cfortunato :

She can close the account even if there is a balance, but the balance does not go away. If she files a Bankruptcy, she will no longer be liable for that balance, but her son will remain liable - unless he also files a Bankruptcy. Hopefully he is only an authorized user.

cfortunato :

If she is not sure, she can find out by calling the credit card company.

Customer:

one last thing, so what is better just file the bk 7 and include the credit card co.? or close the acct. first then file for bk? or one will get affected either way?

cfortunato :

If she files a Bankruptcy, she has to include that account if there is a balance - whether or not the account is closed.

Customer:

can she just reaffirm that debt so as not to ruin the credit of her son?

cfortunato :

Her Bankruptcy filing will not in any way affect her son's credit.

cfortunato :

The fact that the debt is discharged for her does not discharge the debt for him.

cfortunato :

If he is a joint account holder, the only thing that can affect his credit is non-payment of the debt.

cfortunato :

If he is only an authorized user, non-payment of the debt will not affect his credit.

Customer:

thank you

cfortunato :

In other words, her Bankruptcy - alone - will not affect his credit. Only not paying the debt can affect his credit. To protect his credit, it is not necessary for her to re-affirm the debt - she or he would just have to continue to pay.

cfortunato :

You're welcome!

Customer:

so son should expect a call from creditor or he should make arrangement to make payment after mother files?

cfortunato :

Yes - if he is a joint account holder, to protect his credit, he or she should continue to pay the credit card bill.

cfortunato :

Even after she files.

Customer:

thank you--again.

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