Thursday, January 04, 2007

Bank Rant #4793

I always seem to be complaining about banks, but if they would just behave I wouldn't have to take them to task so often. Hmph.

Here's the latest "grrrrrrr" against Bank of America. Sold the house. Got a pittance, in the form of a check (not a BoA check). Knowing BoA's policy of holding check deposits for, oh, say, 40 days or so, daughter and I decided to cash the darn thing and put folding money into dear old BoA. Well, we went to two different branches of the originating bank, but, it being the last biz day before Christmas, neither branch had enough cash on hand (so they said) to cover the full amount.

"Fine," sez I. "Give me $x in cash and generate a cashier's check for the balance, just so's I can get some of it to clear Bank of America" Done.

Cash and cashier's check duly deposited at a branch of BoA well before 2pm on Dec. 22. Deposit slip showed that, indeed, a hold was put on the check but that funds would be available on Dec. 27. Fine.

Dec. 27. No funds show up. Next day, I get a letter from BoA saying that a further hold had been put on the check (remember, it's a cashier's check - good, good, good) until January 3. Huff. But OK.

January 3. Still no funds. Call BoA again. Woman started quoting all sorts of regulations, saying BoA was legally within their rights, blah-blah-blah. Seems the "funds release" was rejected (by BoA, mind you, not the originating bank) - no reason given. Funds not available until Feb. 7.

February 7!! What? Why? No reason.

So this morning I call the originating bank. No problems with a check. It's a cashier's check and will be honored anytime. The guy I spoke to was nice and said BoA had lots of problems. "Have someone from BoA call me to verify."

Fine. Called the branch of BoA where I deposited the check. Woman on the other end of the line couldn't figure out why the check would still be on hold. She makes a phone call. Calls me back - couldn't get check released, all by procedure, doncha' know. She gives me another guy's phone number to see if he can authorize release of - did I mention? - a cashier's check. Well, of course, that guy's in a meeting. Will call me back. Sure. Just see if I don't call every hour on the hour for him.

What's a person to do? I haven't banked with BoA for long - just since moving to NYC, and only because there is no SunTrust Bank in New York. Sigh. But if I ever get this issue resolved, it's bye-bye BoA and hello Washington Mutual (I think).

How can a bank refuse to release funds for a cashier's check? Especially when the originating bank is willing and ready to make it good? How can my account be held hostage for so long, for no reason?

I tell ya', there's a special level of Dante's hell for these people. A pox on all their houses. Bah!


Elsie said...

I share your frustration!!! Maybe they're not releasing your money because they want to bank the interest on it for a while. You bet they'll do it if they legally can. It doesn't matter if the size of the check seems a pittance to you, adding them all up (surely you are not the only one they're holding hostage) amounts to big bucks for them!

Go get 'em, Mary. And when they finally give you your money, ask them for the interest, too!

MaryB said...

Still waiting to hear from "the" guy. I call every hour and every hour "he's with a customer." I've left 4-5 messages. My patience (and bank account) is being sorely tested with this thing.

Peter (the other) said...

Bankers illustrate the least amount of competence, matched with the most pompous sense of self worth one will ever find. Strangely, their value to human society being so low, they are still more accepted amongst good company then sewer engineers, whom are obviously much more important.


Tamar said...

Very recently I had a run in with BoA as well. They are not my bank but I had gotten involved with them through my own bank - long story. The short of it was I got rid of them FAST but not without a lot of angst for a few days first. So sorry to hear your troubles. It's as if one's money is held hostage and they talk such rubbish! Good luck and good riddance to Bank of America!

Chris said...

I certainly sympathise!!

Banks tend to think that the money deposited with becomes their own and the customer, or in their terms 'unimportant nuisance', is entitled to no co-operation or consideration at all.

Here's a quote I found from Paul Fussell: I wish the banks would just say, 'Look, you shits, line up there,we don't give a f**k about your miserable little bank accounts'.

Never has a rhymiing slang seemed more appropriate!!

MaryB said...

Resolution pending on this. Last I heard (at 7pm last night) was that the check was suspiciously like several others drawn on other banks, and BoA had it under investigation for fraud. (Guess numbers and dollar amounts look alike . . . ) Seems to me, all they had to do was call the issuing bank and get it cleared. I put the BoA guy in contact with the issuing bank guy - the BoA guy said he'd even go down to the issuing bank (a whopping 2 blocks away) and reconcile it. Duh! I also offered to have Kate pick up the original check, cash it out at the issuing bank, and redeposit the funds.

The BoA guy promised to have it reconciled by 11am today. We'll see.

It's somewhat comforting (though also sorta disturbing) that you, dear blogsters, have experienced banking and bankers the same way I have. Sheesh. (Love your quote, Chris!)

MaryB said...

Here's the latest: Seems the issuing bank CLEARED the check in question on December 26! Can you stand it? BoA sez, "Hm, can't figure out why the $$$$ ain't in your account." Me thinks the little "security/fraud" story was a time-buyer. Where be da' money, BoA? Well, they say it'll be in my account by tonight. Seems to me, it should be in there NOW. (Or on Dec. 26 . . . )Arrgh.

Chris said...

It seems to me that BoA are the ones that screwed up AND THEY KNOW IT. They're a bank and make quite a good profit, I should think. So why can't the money go in to your account immediately with the transaction backdated to 26th December? Huh? Huh???