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Phillips Esq.
Phillips Esq., Attorney-at-Law
Category: Social Security
Satisfied Customers: 19018
Experience:  B.A.; M.B.A.; J.D.
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I am on social security disability & have been since 2010.

Customer Question

I am on social security disability & have been since 2010. My ex boyfriend and I were living together and shared a bank account, which I was the primary account holder. I left him on Feb 3rd. On February 18th I took my name off of the account. Around the 20th, I went online to try and change my bank account information to my newly established bank account and at first, the SS website confirmed that it accepted the new bank account. A couple of days later, I called to make sure that it had actually accepted it and they said they had not received the new bank information and I had missed the cut off date anyway because it was the 17th of February. That my next check would be deposited into the Chase bank acct., which is the acct the ex and I formerly shared (since I removed my name) and I would need to go to Chase bank to have them put a hold on the check or go to the local social security office because the national office couldn't stop the payment or help me. The next day, I went to the Social Security o
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Social Security
Expert:  Phillips Esq. replied 1 year ago.
I have carefully reviewed your post. However, I did not see a specific question. What is your question?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I apologize....that particular night I was leaving the hospital with my mom and I didn't see what happened to my "post" because I hadn't finished it. I'm not seeing everything that I thought I wrote, so I'm going to rewrite from where it shows I left off.....office and they said they could not help me to go to Chase. I went to the local Chase, where we actually banked (in Longview) and the Vice President (I cannot recall her name or division) said because I had removed my name from the account, I was no longer able to tell them what to do on the account and they refused to stop the hold. Aftewards, I called the national office and spoke with Kevin in the Ohio office and he said it was Chase's obligation to stop the direct deposit of the disability check and to forward it back to the treasury department, where social security would reissue me the check. I told them what Chase said and asked if the money in the account was spent by my ex, what I could do, and he said file charges.On March 3rd, I sent a text to my ex telling him the check was going to be deposited and if the money was spent I would do what I needed to do necessary, i.e. press charges, he said he would see me in court. On that day, I went to Henderson Police Department and filed charges and spoke with a Detective Sullivan. Because of the situation of us sharing a bank account at one time, he was not sure if the case would be considered criminal or civil, so he wanted to discuss it with his Captain, but they would take the information. In addition to that being an issue, it was going to have to be forwarded to the Longview Police Department because the bank was in Longview (there are no Chase bank branches in Henderson) and my ex lived in Longview).The case was not actually forwarded until approx the 1st or 2nd week in April to a Detective Villareal. On April 12th, I briefly spoke with her and because she had not been able to review the file with all of the information which was given to her, she told me told me I would have to file a fraud report first (which is actually what I had already done in Henderson and was in her file). I drove to Longview and spoke to Officer Lyons and Sgt. Spruells, who both told me that there was nothing the police department would do, it was not a criminal or civil case and I would have to hire a social security attorney to take care of the issue in order to "recoup" the money.My question (finally) is 1. what is the difference in someone taking a SOCIAL SECURITY/DISABILITY check out of another persons mailbox and cashing/spending it and being prosecuted for it (as a felony...or what have you...) and a check being spent in an account that is NO LONGER a joint account - severed by 14 days....keeping in mind that the disability has been established in my name for the past 6 years and issued by social security FOR disability FOR ME? and 2. Is is a criminal or civil matter? or an issue that I really would have to hire a social security attorney to handle to "go after him" as the officers said? Because I am on disability and CANNOT afford a social security attorney, as I hear they are expensive.Thank you,
Dawn C.
Expert:  Phillips Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Hello Dawn: Thank you for the information: My question (finally) is 1. what is the difference in someone taking a SOCIAL SECURITY/DISABILITY check out of another persons mailbox and cashing/spending it and being prosecuted for it (as a felony...or what have you...) and a check being spent in an account that is NO LONGER a joint account - severed by 14 days....keeping in mind that the disability has been established in my name for the past 6 years and issued by social security FOR disability FOR ME? Response 1: The first one is theft and tampering of U.S. mail, which are crimes. The second one is not. However, Social Security Administration has an obligation to inform the Treasury Department to reach back into the account to take back the direct deposit. Treasury does that all the time. For instance when a direct deposit is made to a deceased beneficiary, Treasury would go back into the account and retrieve the deposit. and 2. Is is a criminal or civil matter? or an issue that I really would have to hire a social security attorney to handle to "go after him" as the officers said? Because I am on disability and CANNOT afford a social security attorney, as I hear they are expensive. Response 2: This is a civil matter because you once gave Social Security Administration ("SSA") authorization to deposit money into the account. As previously stated, Social Security Administration has the authority to go back to the account to retrieve the deposit. If SSA refuses to assist you, then you would have to file a Small Claim against your ex-boyfriend to recover the money. You do not need an Attorney to file a Small Claim, which should be filed at the Courthouse (Justice of the Peace Court) in the City where he lives. You can obtain Small Claims forms and instructions on the Court's website or in the Clerk's office. For more information, click on the link below: http://texaslawhelp.org/issues/consumer/small-claims-court?channel=legal-resources Kindly give a positive rating to my response so that I can receive credit for responding to your post. There is no additional cost to you for doing this. Thank you for your cooperation.