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Bankruptcy Law/Closing an account with an incorrect name



I opened a Chase bank account two years ago(New York) and I unknowingly put the wrong name. I've been going by my middle name all my life, it's what my parents put down in paper when I went to school. My social security card matches up with this name along with all my legal documents. I'm afraid to tell my bank because I'm worried that it might cause problems.

I was thinking of transferring all my funds to a new bank account with my legal name and closing this one so I can avoid the hassle. What is the legality of this and what is the best course of action to take from here on out?

Thank you


Hello Mohammed:
I have had quite a few cases in the courts of New York over the years, and pPerhaps you are making more of this issue than it deserves – and your suggestion that you can simply avoid the conflict by transferring everything to another account may very well be the best  action to take, at least for now.    Of course there is nothing illegal about opening a new account, and there is nothing illegal about taking money from one account and putting it in another,  and it is very likely that you will not have to even bring up the “missing first name” subject when you do so.    However, to keep this from happening in the future, you might want to give you entire name this time when you open up the new account.   

Having said that, in the unlikely event that your bank refuses to release the funds simply because your complete name is not part of their records, there are legal ways to compel them to do so, but why worry about a potential litigation fight when it is unlikely – very unlikely -  that they will refuse to release the funds?    

I don’t see that  you lose any advantage by simply doing what you are suggesting.    In short, you have a good idea.    If, for whatever reason, the bank does not let you have your funds, you are welcome to call me and we can then discuss your alternatives to force the bank to release your funds.    However, I really doubt that this will be necessary – and if someone tells you otherwise, they are mistaken.    One final thing, for your own peace of mind you probably should not make a direct transfer of the money from one bank to another.    Withdraw the funds, and then deposit them directly in the new bank.

Jack Hall, J.D.
915  261-3893

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