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Dwayne B.
Dwayne B., Attorney
Category: Business Law
Satisfied Customers: 27007
Experience:  Practicing for over 20 years and helped a number of businesses with litigation.
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I have a problem with my local bank. I have had a checking

Customer Question

I have a problem with my local bank. I have had a checking account with them for 35 years. My bank is in Brooklyn, NY and the online banking center is in Long Island, with a call center in Ohio. I have spoken to all three, but the online department is a totally separate division from my local branch.

The manager at my local branch told me the online bank division now offers a high interest yielding money market. He said I can put all my money in the online MM account, receive a high interest and link it to my checking account with my local bank branch. It sounded great and I decided to take advantage of this great deal. I took most of the money out of my checking account and tried to open the MM account.

Four weeks ago, I sent in the application to the main online headquarters, and filled out everything perfectly. With that application, I sent a very large sum of money in the form of a check. I was going to do an electronic funds transfer, but the online customer service reps told me sending a check is faster than an electronic transfer from my checking account. This sounded very odd. When I asked why a check would be processed faster, the rep said that with a check, the bank would not have to "prove" it's me by depositing small amounts into my checking account, avoiding an extra few days wait. So I followed instructions and sent in the check to open the account, with all the forms filled out. I have the names of everyone I spoke to, including the compliance officer.

A week later, I got a letter stating they could not open the online MM account. The letter said there was a discrepancy with one security question which did not match the answer at my local physcial bank, and that I had to go to my local bank and have the security question changed so everything matches. I did that. I then contacted the call center at the online division again to let them know everything was corrected. I spoke to yet another rep who said that everything would be processed in a few days.

Ten days went by since I had mailed the check and form, certified mail. Nothing happened. So I called the online division and they told me they never got my application and check! I could not believe this, since I sent it certified and had the receipt to prove it. They checked the number on my certified receipt. Since my application was sent to their post office box, it was the bank's responsibility to pick up the mail. They never picked it up. They let my application and check sit in the post office for ten days. I was furious. The rep I spoke to yesterday apologized and said they would immediately send a courier to the post office to pick up my check and application.

The rep apologized again for the bank's oversight, and I demanded that they do a back dated interest adjustment since the ten days I lost is their fault. They agreed. However, the rep then told me I would had to wait yet another ten days for my check to clear!! I don't feel I should have to wait another ten days, because that would mean my money is held up for an entire month. I feel that since everything is due to their negligence and their errors, my check should clear immediately. I followed all the protocols and instructions, and I am being treated terribly. As far as I am concerned, they already had their ten day hold, while my check and application was sitting at the post office.

I have to call them today. I am thinking of telling them to shred my check and application and telling them I will go to the bank examiners if they do not allow my money to clear immediately. I have been a long time customer of this bank and I cannot believe this - they can easily call my local bank branch and the manager can confirm this. Why should I have to wait another ten days? Twenty days without access to my money? Is what they are doing legal? I have a certified proof of mailing, and I feel they should pay for their negligence, not me. Needless to say, I am very upset. Please advise, and thank you so much. What can I do and say to them to expedite the immediate processing of my check?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Business Law
Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 2 years ago.
They are allowed to wait ten days for a check to clear, but that is for withdrawing or otherwise using funds, not for interest purposes.

Based on what you have already done and said to them there doesn't appear to be anything else you can tell them that will resolve the problems. Your next step is to file a complaint with your state's banking regulators and if that doesn't work to sue for the interest that you should have been paid. It seems clear that you will win and will get the interest as well as your attorney's fees.


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Several customers have asked how they direct a question to me in particular. If you specifically want me to provide information for you just put “FOR JD 1992” in the subject line and I will pick up the next time I am online.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Thank you for your prompt response! I have a quick follow-up question:


 


When you say they are only allowed to hold a check to withdraw or use my funds, here is what they told me:


 


They now are changing what they originally told me. The rep said yesterday that because I have a checking account: "It is only going to take ten days to clear. If you did not have a checking account with us, it would take 30 days to clear." This is exactly what she said.


 


Does this make sense? If they have proof of my account via the check I sent in with all the account numbers and info matching, shouldn't my money be available today?


 


Should I go to the bank examiners also?


 


Thank you!

Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 2 years ago.
No, the law allows them to have a period of time to "clear" the check. Ten days is the industry standard at this time. I have never seen the law distinguish based on it being in a different branch of the same bank, although it should. Personally, I think it is a racket because with electronic clearing it could be done in a day or so. You can still report it if you want but the fact that they are saying it may take ten days isn't unusual.


If you would like any additional information or have more questions please don’t hesitate to ask but please do so my clicking on the Reply to Expert tab.

We work for Positive Ratings, please click on one of the top three ratings or one of the Smile Faces, as this would be appreciated. We have recently implemented a new rating and feedback system. Please be aware that you are rating my courtesy and service as a professional, and not necessarily whether you like the information that you are receiving. Please bear in mind I can’t control what the law is and whether it helps you, I can only tell you what it says, and I assume you want truthful information.

PLEASE DO NOT use the rating system to ask for more information or in an attempt to tell the website that you didn’t like the substance of the answer as it gives a NEGATIVE rating to me personally if your rating is one of the lower two.

I believe in giving information that is to the point, but please remember that I can only base our answers on the information you provide and sometimes a misunderstanding as to what you are looking for or already know occurs so feel free to ask additional questions or for clarifications. Be very careful about looking at other internet sites that just post generic information without any inquiry into your facts because often those answers are dated, wrong, or wrong as applied to your facts. Please be aware that my answer is not legal advice, it is merely information. You should always contact a local attorney for legal advice.

Several customers have asked how they direct a question to me in particular. If you specifically want me to provide information for you just put “FOR JD 1992” in the subject line and I will pick up the next time I am online.
Dwayne B., Attorney
Category: Business Law
Satisfied Customers: 27007
Experience: Practicing for over 20 years and helped a number of businesses with litigation.
Dwayne B. and other Business Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Thank you again! I just spoke to the bank officer at the Long Island Branch.


 


Now I know what happened. Yep, they made another mistake - they thought my check was coming from an outside bank. I can't believe this...I actually provided them with the bank routing number AND my checking account number to show that it was an internal check, from the same bank. At least in this case, they say an internal check does make it immediate, no 10 day wait.


 


She just informed me that as soon as they pick up the mail today they will process my account immediately and my money will be available immediately.


 


What's really upsetting is that I just found out if I had done the electronic funds transfer, my account would have been opened 2 weeks ago. But the Ohio rep told me a check is faster.


 


Unbelievable. If I didn't like my local Brooklyn branch so much I'd close the online account altogether and go with Barclays.


 


Anyway, thank you so much! Laughing

Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 2 years ago.
I'm glad it worked out at least fairly well. Good work sticking to your guns!

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