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Barrister
Barrister, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 38202
Experience:  16 yrs practice, Civil, Criminal, Domestic, Realtor, Landlord 26 yrs
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My husband passed away in May, I went into the bank and let

Customer Question

My husband passed away in May, I went into the bank and let them know, and gave them a copy of his death certificate. He has a private account and they would not let me close it. They advised that until all things were settled that I leave his name on our joint account. Since then they have withdrawn over $1100.00 from our account claiming that they are to cover over drafts from his private account. My husband passed away 1 day after his direct deposit went into the bank and he had another direct deposit go into the bank the following week that I was not allowed to withdraw because I was not on his account. How can they steal the money out of our account to cover withdraws from his account knowing he had passed away and continue to allow the account to fall more and more negative then pull the money from our joint account now causing it to go negative to cover these fees. None of the money is going towards any bills either. It is all money being collected by the bank in fees they are charging his account and now mine because it it overdrawn too. We have tons of bills and the bank stole our mortgage and light bill money and the money for my car payment. Now the bills are behind and they won't give the money back and I have been fighting them for a month now. What can I do?
Submitted: 2 months ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Barrister replied 2 months ago.

Hello and welcome! My name is ***** ***** I am a licensed attorney and will try my best to help with your situation. There may be a slight delay in my responses as I type out an answer or reply.

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You may also be offered a phone call, but those don’t come from me and are offered by the website and you are under no obligation to accept.

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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.

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So all the accounts are essentially tied together and they can pull from one to pay another..

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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...

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Barrister

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
But how are the allowed to continue to let the fees build on his account and continue to remove funds from our joint account if they know that he is deceased?
Expert:  Barrister replied 2 months ago.

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..

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
There were no checks on the account. I have all the bank statements. All the money they are taking is just in fees to cover his account from 1 transaction that put his account in the negative by $68.00. All the money they are collecting is in bank fees by daily overdraft fees and fines. And is there a way to prove that I asked them about taking his name off of my account and they insisted I leave it until everything was settled to ensure that his name was on an account I had access too. I asked them to remove it the same day. The person at the bank told me I would not be held liable for his account because I was not on it, yet now I'm out that 1100.00. Well plus that now because my account is now -120.00
Expert:  Barrister replied 2 months ago.

The bank should only have pulled out enough to cover the one transaction and whatever fee was associated with that..

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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..

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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.

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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..

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thanks

Barrister

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
Thank you for the help. I am just at a loss for words that they are allowed to do such as this. We have been in good standing with this bank for over 10yrs. Now, I am 8 months pregnant, laid off due to excessive absences because of my pregnancy and being pit out of work, trying to collect unemployment just to survive. I had to bury my husband and then had the bank take every dime and then some. It is horrific right now and I am just lost as what to even try to do next.
Expert:  Barrister replied 2 months ago.

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..

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All the best to you and yours..

Barrister