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Dwayne B.
Dwayne B., Lawyer
Category: Consumer Protection Law
Satisfied Customers: 32318
Experience:  Practicing for over 20 years and handled many cases and trials for consumers.
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My bank, 1st bank in Fort, CO, has frozen my business and my

Customer Question

My bank, 1st bank in Fort Collins, CO, has frozen my business and my two personal accounts all over the fact that I went in to withdrawal $4000 from my business account. The account had an "available" balance of $4500. That $4,500 was available because I mobile deposited a check the day before for $4500, which it is their policy to make those funds available the next day. So rightfully, I should be able to withdrawal the funds. However, probably from discrimination of my age, they got a higher up banker involved in the withdrawal process who said they will call Chase to confirm the check for $4,500 was good. After the call, he ignored me and went straight to his desk, made a call, then came back to me and said, sorry sir, the check for $4500 is no good, we can't give you the $4000. I was confused as I am a signer on the Chase account, and there was plenty of money in the account to cover a $4500 CHECK. I quickly left the bank to figure out the problem. When I got home, I checked Chase, and it had money in it, so clearly the guy got bad information. I also figured I would pay myself partially what my business owes me for the week and then go get the $4000 I needed. So I paid $4150 to myself, an employee, to my personal account from the business account. Soon after, I double checked I made the transfer before going back to the bank for a withdrawal. When I signed into my online banking, ALL my accounts, personal and the business was zeroed out. Furious, I rushed to the bank, tried to keep my cool but yelled and cursed at the a-hole banker who I knew caused this whole problem because somehow he got bad info from Chase. Basically he said a bank manager at my branch decided to put a hold on my accounts and the $4500 check since the check was bad according to the banker. Now, this is where it gets illegal, at least in my eyes. The hold, was not just on my business account, which is the account they claim the problem check was in. They also put a hold on my personal accounts, which to remind people, my business and personal accounts are a 100% separate. I run a Corporation, not some shit self-employed crap. As far as I am aware, you can't just freeze an employees account of a business just because you want to freeze the businesses account. And might I add, they froze this all because I cursed and yelled at the banker. The banker also told me my accounts were being closed and I am no longer a customer and to leave. He was wrong though, cause I called the other branch manager who was supposedly doing all this freezing and closing. She said she wouldn't close the accounts, but would keep a hold on them until the $4500 check cleared. She then said it would clear today, 7/23. It has not cleared, FYI. She now says it won't clear till the 26th or longer and they will hold my account till then. Now she has been going through and returned ach and checks on the account left and right, even though without the $4500, there would still be enough money to cover the checks and ACH items. She has cost, and will cost my business over $4000 in lost revenue, and probably hundreds of dollars in fees from returned items. It is unfair practice that she has froze my person account over a separate business issue. I need my accounts unfrozen on Monday the 25th, or no later than Tuesday the 26th. I need a lawyer to talk to this idiot manager. I also think I need a lawyer to sue her, the banker and the bank for lost income, fees and more. What can I do asap and on a budget, because she has literally frozen all my funds until she feels like unfreezing it.
Submitted: 4 months ago.
Category: Consumer Protection Law
Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 4 months ago.

Hello and thank you for contacting us. This is Dwayne B. and I’m an expert here and looking forward to assisting you today. If at any point any of my answers aren’t clear please don’t hesitate to ask for clarification. Also, I can only answer the questions you specifically ask and based on the facts that you give so please be sure that you ask the questions you want to ask and provide all necessary facts. Please note: This is general information for educational purposes only and is not legal advice. No specific course of action is proposed herein, and no attorney-client relationship or privilege is formed by speaking to an expert on this site. By continuing, you confirm that you understand and agree to these terms.

If you hire a lawyer then they should be able to get an emergency order issued at least unfreezing your personal account if not both although it will be extremely hard to get it done by Monday or Tuesday. In addition, to get something done that fast it means the lawyer has to set other work aside and usually that costs extra. However, you can sue for your attorney's fees as well.

Without a lawyer there is really no way to get it done quickly, although you can file a complaint with the CO banking regulators at https://www.colorado.gov/pacific/dora/banking-file-complaint. Unfortunately, they usually don't work very fast but it also doesn't cost you anything. You may want to call the first thing Monday and see if they can assist you quickly but if they do yours will be the first case I've seen it happen on.

You can find a lawyer to assist you by going to www.lawyers.com and in the section for Area of Practice enter Civil Litigation or Consumer Law. Either of those will have the skill set you need.

If your question has been answered then I'd offer my best wishes to you and ask that you please not forget to leave a Positive Rating so I receive credit for my work.

Of course, please feel free to ask any follow up questions in this thread. I want to be sure that all of your questions are answered. In addition, once you issue your Positive Rating the question will lock open and no longer time out so you can come back to it anytime in the future if you think of any follow ups.

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
Ok, You answered most of the question on how to get accounts unfrozen. However, there is the main issue of how much money this is costing me in sales, profit and fees. Do you think I would have a case in small claims for the lost business profit from this weekend? We were unable to pay suppliers, hence we could not continue selling items over the weekend which we projected to make over $4000 in profit. Additionally, after looking at the account, it seems the bank manager returned a check for $4100 that was coming out of the bank. This is going to cost us about $90 in fees from Chase and who knows how much the First bank idiots will charge. It will also ruin our perfect relationship with Chase and the checksystem, which means we will have to change the way we do business which in the long term is going to cost us a lot more time and money to pay for items and wait for checks to clear and etc. We are talking a thousand's if not hundreds of thousands.. All over a dude banker getting wrong information from Chase and automatically assume/ discriminate against me that I would be a person to write "hot" checks and so the idiot bank manage just freezes everything. So stupid.Also, should I try talking to the bank manager again on Monday with a recorder, and make them explain why the put the freeze on the account, and when they say its because chase said my check was no good, tell them to prove to me that is what chase said by calling chase and having them declare if the check is good or not, while recording. Clearly they will say over the phone that the check is good, so am thinking then I could demand for the discrimination and hold on my accounts to stop immediately and fire the banker who has lied to cause this issue. Thoughts?
Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 4 months ago.

Yes, likely you would have a case either in small claims court or regular court.

You can record in CO since it is a one state consent law. However, I've found that demanding anything doesn't work in a case like this and the best thing to do is get the personalities out of it which is why you hire a lawyer. If you hire a lawyer then the bank will turn it over to their lawyer and then the case should resolve quickly.

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