How to Remove a Secondary Person From a Joint Account

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There are a few ways in which two or more people can share ownership of an account. The process for removing someone from a joint account you share depends on how the account documentation divides the ownership. If you are the only owner, you should be able to remove the secondary person without his permission. Otherwise, the bank or lender might require both you and the other person to give your approval for the change.

Bank Account

Call your bank and ask if you have sole authority to remove the person from the joint account. This is sometimes the case if you are listed as the account owner and the other person does not have full authority over the account, as is the case with someone authorized to sign checks. If you can remove the person, do this yourself over the phone or have forms mailed to you to fill out.

Go to the bank with the person who is a true joint account holder and speak with a banker about closing the account. Provide identification and sign all forms as needed.

Mail forms to the joint account holder to sign and mail back if you cannot go to the bank together. The joint account holder must agree to release all interest in the account before the bank can remove him.

Credit Account

Call your credit card company and ask to remove an authorized user from your account. This only works if the person is an authorized user, not a joint account holder. Authorized users do not sign the initial credit agreement, so they have no liability to repay the debt.

Apply for a new credit card account or loan in your name only. Lenders will generally not allow you to remove a true joint account holder because the credit was issued on the assumption that you were both going to be held responsible to repay it.

Pay off the old loan with the new one in your name only or transfer the credit card balance from the joint card to the individual one you just opened.

Call the lender to close the joint account that now has no balance.

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