“His father likes to be in control”: My friend’s father forced him to open a bank account in both of their names and confiscated his identity card. What can he do?

By Quentin Fottrell

“His dad likes to be in control and says he needs to stay in control of the money so his son doesn’t ‘waste’ it.

Dear Quentin,

I have a friend and family member who just turned 21. He has been working full time for several years. Her father is a very authoritarian man who doesn’t work and lives on food stamps, disability checks from his wife, and handouts from his mother-in-law.

He kept my parent and his other children out of school under the guise of “homeschooling” them, but does little to do so. My 21-year-old relative doesn’t have a high school equivalency, and it doesn’t look like his siblings will either.

When he started working, his dad asked him to deposit his paychecks into an account in both of their names and arranged that my relative couldn’t withdraw the money unless his dad went there. consent. His father has also, until recently, kept all his essential documents (birth certificate, social security card, identity card, etc.).

My parent was kicked out of his dad’s house recently and now lives with another family member. Until recently, he felt like he couldn’t access his money because he didn’t have an ID, so he recently acquired one.

But when he got his ID and then went to the bank to check his money, he was told that his father would have to sign a document agreeing to give my relative control of his own money.

We already know that his father will not do that. His dad likes to be in control and says he needs to stay in control of the money so his son doesn’t “waste” it. It also seems that his dad can withdraw the money at will, whether my relative likes it or not.

How can my loved one control their own money? As we see, it’s just not fair that a man who hasn’t worked in decades can just have the money my relative worked so hard for.

Affected family member

Dear concerned,

More people need friends and family like you. Your friend only needs one person in his life to defend him, and you are that person. He can also benefit from free legal aid. But he must first deal with the financial and practical matters – ownership of his own bank account – before moving on to longer-term recovery from a life of emotional and financial manipulation and abuse.

Once you name it – domestic violence, financial abuse – your friend will get a sense of their situation and see it from the outside. He is no longer helpless. The most immediate action he needs to take is to make sure his salary goes into a new account. He can talk to the bank about his own access to this account and what his rights are to withdraw his own money.

It’s a disturbing series of events, and they’re hard to read. It is the reverse of the usual financial abuse of the elderly, which affects up to five million people in the United States each year and robs people of their dignity, agency and humanity. In this case, your friend’s father has taken control of your friend’s bank account. But he has been under the control of his father since he was a child.

His father used ‘homeschooling’ as a ruse to infantilize him by making sure he didn’t have a strong social network outside the family home and making sure he didn’t benefit not a good education. Your friend needs you, a therapist to help him break free from the psychological bondage that has plagued him all his life, and the support of an organization that helps people who have been subject to financial control .

Your friend may also wish to remove their credit report to ensure that no loans or bank accounts have been taken out in their name and, assuming there is no fraud, it may be a good idea to freeze his credit file. If there is fraud on his account, he will have to file a police report. It happens. This woman’s identity was stolen as a child and, at 19, the attacker racked up $500,000 in credit card debt over her lifetime – and it turns out he was acted from his own mother

Yes, your friend is an adult. Yes, he voluntarily agreed to add his father to the bank account. But her self-confidence and self-confidence slowly eroded. Taking her son’s social security card and identity card is a physical and symbolic act of psychological imprisonment. However, these elements can be replaced. The good news: your friend is employed and living independently, and no longer owes his father a roof over his head.

Your friend is not a child. Everyone has the right to make their own decisions about their finances and their life.


My stepdaughter’s mother stole her identity. She rented an apartment and pulled out credit cards in her name — what can we do?

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-Quentin Fottrell


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10-09-22 0030ET

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