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I am very sorry to hear of your loss and how the bank is treating you. And I hate to say it, but what they are doing is legal. It is called "cross collateralization" and what it means is that somewhere buried in the fine print on each account agreement is a clause that says that if one account goes into default or isn't paid, the bank can dip into any other account in the account holder's name and pull money from that account.
So all the accounts are essentially tied together and they can pull from one to pay another..
I am very sorry that I don’t have better news, but please understand that I do have an ethical and professional obligation to provide customers with legally correct answers based on my knowledge and experience, even when I know the answer doesn’t make the customer happy...
Because if there are checks that are still coming in that are just now posting to the account, the bank is honoring those checks and then going over to the joint account and pulling the money from your joint account. So you might be best off just going in and and pulling all the money out of the joint account so they can't ding it with any more fees..
The bank should only have pulled out enough to cover the one transaction and whatever fee was associated with that..
So as soon as the account went overdrawn, they should have reached over and dipped into the other account and taken funds to clear it up..
With that said, you need to get a print out of all the fees that they have imposed and then review the account holder agreement and then sit down with the bank manager personally and see if they can explain this and possibly waive or reimburse any fees that shouldn't have been imposed.
Most bank managers will be pretty reasonable in situations like this if you approach them and kill them with kindness as those fees don't mean anything to the bank and the manager has the power to reverse or waive them..
You are very welcome. And even though many corporate banks are huge jerks, the individual branch managers are pretty decent people, I have found. So your best bet is to go in personally and talk to the manager... calling is pointless as it is too easy to just tell you no. If you are sitting in their office then they are much more likely to try and help you..
All the best to you and yours..