tl;dr Woman discovers a joint account she forgot about, which is named with her & her ex husband. She says “meh fuck my ex husband” and takes all the assets out of it for herself.
I actually really liked this woman. Great sense of humor, suuper chill, very easy to talk to. The call would end up being probably 5-10 minutes longer than it “should” have been because we got side tracked into different irrelevant topics
I work on the phones at a retail investment broker-dealer (think E*Trade, TD Ameritrade, Fidelity, etc.). In this particular call, a woman had called in about some accounts for her kids on which she is named. These were were set up a long time ago. She has since gotten divorced and changed her name. I explained to her that it might be a good idea to update her accounts to reflect her new name, and she agreed. I was going through all the accounts on which she is named, in order to give her the account numbers – these would be needed to fill out her paperwork to get her name updated on every acct.
- ME: me
- CL: client
ME: Alright, and your final account here is your joint acct with Hank (fake name). That number is…
CL: Wait, my what account?
ME: I see here you have a joint account with [Hank Johnson]. I assume that is the ex husband?
CL: Really? What’s in it?
ME: A few thousand dollars in [stock], and a few hundred in cash.
CL: Oh my! I believe that was stuff left to me by my mother. She loved [company] and I know she invested in it at one point.
Me: Yeah it looks like it was transferred into this account [over 10] years ago and hasn’t been touched since then.
CL: Wow! When was the last time anybody has logged into this account?
ME: I don’t see any activity or access for at least ten years.
CL: Well what should I do with it?
ME: Well I can’t really tell you what you should do with it. But your options are: keep the account as is; liquidate some or all of your equity and request a check disbursement; or transfer some or all of the assets into a different account either here at our firm or elsewhere at another firm. Your best bet is probably to call your divorce attorney, as these assets are still jointly owned by both you and [Hank]. He may have someti….
CL: Na, just give me a check.
ME: I’m sorry?
CL: That bastard got my car in the divorce and I loved that thing. It’s been [XX] years. This account clearly wasn’t in the divorce paperwork, and it’s been over a decade since it was last touched. He probably forgot about it too. And it was given to us by my late mother. Just sell everything and send me the check.
ME: Alright ma’am. Just so you know, if we close this stock position, this will likely generate a 1099; it could be considered by the IRS to be a taxable event to both you and your ex husband, since both of you are named as owners on this account. It’s possible he may learn about this. I would again suggest speaking with your divorce lawyer bout…
CL: Naaaahhh that’s fine. I’ll take the heat if any comes my way, don’t you worry about me mfranko88!
ME: Alright, well we have that stock sold, let’s confirm your mailing address, I imagine it’s changed since the divorce.
CL: No I got the house in the divorce, it’s still the same.
ME: Ok then. The check will be in the mail later this week for [$X,XXX]. Have a great day.
CL: Thanks for helping me win the divorce once and for all!
Dude you got the house, he only got the car. I think you already won.