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I thought that for today’s activity, I’d share my complete and utter frustration with a bank in Utah.
About a year and a half ago, this bank which we will refer to as Pilon (which means drumstick in French) called my 81 year old mother and asked her to come get her money. She said she didn’t have any money in that bank. They said she did. She said she didn’t.
They asked if 123-45-6789 was her social security number.
She said yes.
They asked if Alexander the Great was her mother’s maiden name.
She said yes.
They said it was her money.
She went into the local branch with her son-in-law and again told them that she had no memory of putting this money in a CD and she hadn’t been getting statements.
They said these things happen but if she doesn’t take the money it would go to the state as unclaimed.
After quite a few conversations on the phone and in person, she accepted that it was her money and took the checks from the bank. She then gave some away, bought a washer and dryer, and put 2/3 into an annuity.
Then, a couple weeks ago, Pilon called her and said the money wasn’t hers.
She called the local branch. They said the money was hers.
Then she got a letter that said if she didn’t return all 6 figures plus interest, Pilon would prosecute.
She went in and talked to them. Her son-in-law wrote a letter to the annuity with 2/3 of the money and asked if they could get that money out without penalty. They said yes if the bank wrote them. My son-in-law told the bank how much was there and that they could get it if they wrote a letter.
The bank wrote the company and demanded the full 6 figures which the annuity NEVER had.
The annuity was a bit confused.
And now we are all getting a bit angry. Here is an 81 year old woman who is willing to give back everything she still has of money she was told OVER AND OVER was hers.
It was the banks fault and yet they’re making her feel like a criminal. And there doesn’t seem to be anything she can do about it. It’s worrying her, understandably, and there should be a different protocol for how they deal with 81 year olds who’ve had 2 heart attacks and need a second knee surgery.
And I know there are people who will say, “If she didn’t think it was hers, she shouldn’t have taken it.” But be honest with yourselves. If you’d been told that over 20 years ago you’d put money away and they had your SS number, personal info, and your signature all linked to it, don’t you think that after a few conversations, you’d start believing it was yours?
I guess the lessons we can take from this is to let all money a bank swears is yours go unclaimed to the state and to not do business with a bank whose name rhymes with the French word for drumstick.
As if that wasn’t obvious in the first place.