E-trade account frozen involuntarily

After my STBX moved out, I called E-trade to find out what would be required to remove STBX’s name from the account, because we were separated. Later, I find out because I mentioned the word “separation” or “divorce”, they froze everything in the account and refuse to unfreeze it until I have a letter notarized by myself and STBX to unfreeze the account. Is it legal for them to do this? Nothing has been filed with the courts yet.

They can freeze the funds in an attempt to preserve them.

What if I need the money to pay lawyer’s fees? Am I just screwed??? This does not seem fair at all. No one requested the account be frozen, it was E-trade’s decision.

Also, you said that they could freeze the funds in an attempt to preserve them. Why would they care if one of us spent the funds? They aren’t liable for anything! Or are they freezing the money just so they can hold on to it longer?

I cannot speak to E*Trade’s policy, I would suggest that you contact them directly.

Thank you for the response. I am exchanging messages with E-Trade.

You stated earlier that they can freeze the funds in an attempt to preserve them. If these assets are not own by E-trade, then what gives the right to prevent the funds from being spent? This sounds illegal to me.

So long as the funds are still in your account they did not misappropriate them.

Hello, I realize this is years old! But I have a family member in the same situation and we are trying to figure out how to fix it! Curious to know how you were able to get it resolved.

Hi Brad, the short answer is that I was not able to fix it. E-trade would not release the funds until months later after I had finalized my divorce and sent them proof. Sorry.