(Closed) FMIL caused my FI's bank account to be drained

posted 4 years ago in Money
Post # 2
4238 posts
Honey bee


What a complete bummer! Ugh!

Chin up, though. Things will work themselves out for the wedding somehow. You may have to make unwanted cuts rather than replace the lost money to still obtain the original planned wedding whatnots, but, remember, getting married to your sweetheart is the objective.

This $4,000.00, while it hurts, will likely be the most valuable (and most cost effective) life lesson that y’all learn. 

Hang in there, Bee!

Post # 3
32 posts
  • Wedding: February 2017

Hello! So this is my first post so I hope I am doing this right.

Back story on me and whatnot: my fiance’s mother has harassed me and him for 15 months with emails, texts, etc. – stuff that’s illegal, demeaning and innappropiate. But it meant that we got educated on what is harassment and what isn’t legally in the eyes of Virginia state law. My mother also stole 3k from me in December 2014, and is mentally incapacitated with a lawyer managing her finances.

What you will be able to do depends on where you live, and where she lives. Because your fiance is the victim, normally, legally, the laws observed are in his state/county.

The first thing you need to do is have him call your bank. This can’t be the first time this has happened within that bank, and they are going to have their own process and policies for it.

This may vary depending on what the bank says, but are pretty good next steps:

The next thing you need to do is print off every statement (monthly and yearly if that applies) for that account.

You also need to discuss other financial routes she has to get to his money. For example, does she have access to his credit card number? Any savings accounts? With credit access she could charge everything and anything to that, putting his credit into critical condition.

Next, with the approvial of the bank, you need to remove her from his account, and any other accounts she has access to. I say with approvial because you need to double check that if you do remove her it wont harm any legal messages.

I advise his sister to do the same.

I also would consider getting a lawyer, because you may need some direction of where to go, and getting a lawyer will give you an educated lense into the laws in your area.

Where I am, it’s 8:40, most banks near me stay open until noon, and are closed tomorrow. If you can’t get to your bank until monday, call the bank, go online (the route varies on the bank) and freeze all accounts she has access to.

Also, I know you’re scared and worried, but you need to tell your parents/your personal equivlent, and you need to tell your best man/men and maid/s of honor.

And if you need anyone else, or someone to chat or call or whatever, imbox me and I’ll give you my number.

Post # 4
2690 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2015

Teribble situation!

There probably isn’t much your Fiance can do to get his money back unless he sues his mother – that whole situation reads dram drama drama. While she may not be the one who withdrew the 4000.00 she is directly responsbile and I hope for your sakes she takes responsibility ad offers to pay you back somehow. Since the acct is joint and she was sued it’s possible there was a judgement rendered and they took the money from the acct to pay it back. In the interim your Fiance needs to stop using that acct immediately and open a separate acct in his name only.

You may have to adjust everything in terms of the wedding and the shower – sorry this happened to you bee!  My Mother-In-Law promised us 10,000 for the wedding and 2 months before we received an email saying  she wasn’t giving us a penny. (she is legit cray though) It was hard, we scrambled but we made it!

Good luck!

Post # 5
263 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2010

SoontobeF:  but he’s not a victim. at least not in the legal sense. he’s a co-owner of an account. his mom had the right to withdraw all that money any day of the week, debt or no debt. if you don’t want someone to have access to your account, don’t have them titled as an owner.

what he needs to do now is get an account in his own name alone.

Post # 6
11115 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: City, State


This is probably exactly what happened.  FMIL was sued, ignored it, creditor got a default judgement against her & the creditor got a writ of execution against the account.  Perfectly legal & entirely FMIL’s fault.

I’m afraid it’s unlikely that Fiance will see that money again.  My best advice would be to consult with an attorney asap.  I am sorry, Bee.

Post # 7
3107 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: November 2017

sweetness09:  he should be able to find out what company removed the money from his account. However does it really matter who exactly she owed the debt to?MOM owes him the money,  not that company! !Mom needs to sell what she can to try to pay him back and make payments to him every week out of her paycheck. 

Eta obviously he needs a new acct too!

Post # 8
13787 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

To be honest, there’s nothing he can do.  A joint owner of the account took money out.  End of story.  It’s not the bank’s fault that your Fiance didn’t remove his mother from an account he didn’t want her to have access to.  The company that took the money also is not at fault, because they removed money from an account in which the debtor was an owner.  

Sorry for this situation, but at least there’s lesson to be learned here.

Post # 9
4246 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: August 2015

I don’t know how much you can do legally because she was on the account.  Have your fiance talk to his mother and say he needs his money back and it was insanely rude of her to clean him out like that. He should also tell her that if he does not see that money back it will be the end of their relationship and she will not be at your wedding.  I think it should come to that because she was KNOWINGLY stealing money from her SON.  That is the lowest of the low.  Hopefully losing a relationship with her child and not being at his wedding will spark her to give it back and she realizes how cruel her actions were.

Post # 10
1232 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2016

I’m honestly not sure that the debtor was entitled to the money.  If your fi can prove that the money was entirely his, he may be able to reclaim it.  I know this because my fi’s dad lost a small lawsuit and the bank then sent a letter that my fi’s account was potentially subject to seizure if fi’s dad didn’t pay (he had paid, however).  Fi called the lawyer for the person who won the lawsuit and discussed and the lawyer said that his account would not be subject.  Fi now has a different bank account, though, to avoid any future mixups.

The bank should be able to provide you the name and contact info of the lawyer involved.  You should contact them.  Your fi should also start gathering paystubs/etc. and pull images of any check deposits so that he can prove the money was his and not at all his mother’s.

Post # 11
4028 posts
Honey bee

sweetness09:  Are you positive a company took it or did she set up an automatic payment herself? The bank can tell you exactly who took the money and how it was withdrawn.

Post # 12
32 posts
  • Wedding: February 2017

SpiderMum:  That actually varies state to state, as well as in the eyes of a judge. The term victim may not be applicable in your mind, but I worded it there because he placed the 4k in his (and his moms) account, and she withdrew it without his permission.

Post # 13
2868 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2013

sweetness09:  Is it actually wiped out or are the funds frozen? If frrozen, he will have a n opportunity to prove that the funds belong to him

Post # 14
918 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: November 2014

What an awful situation!  I have no advice other than to find out exactly who withdrew the funds and then to confront Future Mother-In-Law face to face to find out what exactly happened.  $4k isn’t exactly chump change.

Post # 15
1565 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2016

The same exact thing happened to my Fiance last year, but in that case it was his ex-wife whom he didn’t realize was still on his account. Totally his mistake in believing what a bank worker told him without verifying it, but lesson learned. Basically he got to pay for her kids’ (not his kids) pediatric bills after she neglected to pay and the doctor sued her. She of course didn’t bother to show up for court, not that she had a leg to stand on. When the court found a bank account with her name on it with enough to pay the judgment, they took almost $600 out of FI’s account without warning. That was for both the settlement amount plus a large fee from the state. There were also overdraft fees and returned check fees since he had several payments scheduled. He did contact the court and the case manager was as helpful as he could be, but the bottom line is that he was out of luck. Legally they did nothing wrong. He suggested my Fiance talk to the pediatrician since he would have the power to return the funds to the court, who could then give it back to my Fiance. That didn’t work out since the pediatrician was sick of dealing with the ex-wife and was happy to finally have his money, but maybe that’s worth a shot in your case. Still, it’s best to consider the money gone for good. I know how frustrating the situation is but it is one of those crappy things in life that happens. I’m so sorry! 

To to add insult to injury, the ex already owed my Fiance over $3k from their divorce settlement, which she’d stopped making payments on. He did immediately confront her about this and while she tried to blame him for never closing their joint account, she did agree to pay it all back including the overdraft fees. She’s making monthly payments since I guess she doesn’t want to be sued again, but they’re such small payments that it’ll take a long time to get that money back. Assuming she doesn’t flake out again on making payments. 

Obviously your Fiance has grounds to take his mom to court, but if she already defaulted on other debt it’s unlikely she’ll magically have the money to pay him back. If she works, he could petition to have her wages garnished, though. All of that can easily be done in my state without needing a lawyer, so that’s something to look into. I would have no trouble suing a family member if they were that irresponsible and then avoided me after making such a shitty mistake. Give her a chance to make it right first, but if she continues to avoid his calls, do what you can to try to recoup that money. Also, have him close that account and make sure he has no other financial ties to her.

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