Help w/ frozen bank account please!!!

Old Apr 5, 17, 2:00 pm
  #1  
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Exclamation Help w/ frozen bank account please!!!

Long story short:

I applied for an out of state FCU in order to MS on the initial deposit and was approved for a checking/savings acct.

I made it very clear I was living in CA. I provided a CA state driver's license as ID. There was no question about my physical address at the time that the account was approved.

When asked why I wanted to open an account with this FCU, I explained that my wife and myself were planning to move to Michigan (local credit union is based out of MI) in the near future. No other questions asked, account was approved.

Initial deposit was for 20K which coded as purchase on my c.c.

I was told explicitly that was not a problem and they've done higher volume transfers in the past; this was all done with a live person (acct specialist) over the tel.

A few days later, I receive a phone call from the same person who opened the acct informing me that a manager was not happy about the circumstances. They wanted to keep my business however so they'd extend a courtesy to allow the acct to stay opened. I should have just closed it on the spot and asked for a check to be mailed out but nevertheless, I was told it was all good and that I needed to contact them ASAP with a Michigan address once that was sorted out.

Today, I discovered the acct was frozen. I called in and was transferred to a real nasty woman who was extremely condescending. She asked me why I was calling despite the previous representative explaining the details (she knew damn well) and when I asked why the acct was frozen, she responded with: "are you living in MI yet?". I reminded her that everyone was aware of where I was living: California. I proceeded to express my frustration over the way things have unfolded... they approved the account with all of the present information. I provided out of state ID. They had the authority to decline the application. I don't appreciate this back and forth every few weeks. The situation has not changed, I'm still in California and I'm not happy with the way they're doing business... please close the account and mail a check.

Her response, AND I QUOTE: "The funds will not be released until you move to Michigan".

This is blatantly against all OCC/banking regulations and surely against the law!

What recourse do I have?? Lawyer's letter? BBB Report? Do I need to contact a state attorney and if so, what is this going to cost me to have the funds released??

They've basically seized 20K unlawfully, afaik.

I also just received the following email notification, which was NOT initiated per my request btw:

"Per your request, your online banking password was reset for you on 4/05/2017. For your protection we are sending this message as confirmation to verify that this change was made according to your instructions."

So they've locked me out of online banking too.

How do I proceed?

Yes I lied about our INTENTION of moving to Michigan but I was completely transparent about our current residence. I'm sure they are ignoring all banking laws and regulations.

Please advise me on what to do... I think they're probably screwing with me, knowing that I'll eat it on c.c. interest rates for footing the large balance plus any attorneys fees to get the funds released.
OliverB is offline  
Old Apr 5, 17, 2:31 pm
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I would start with filing a complaint and a claim with the FDIC (or whichever agency insures CU deposits).
MaxVO is offline  
Old Apr 5, 17, 2:36 pm
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Originally Posted by MaxVO View Post
I would start with filing a complaint and a claim with the FDIC (or whichever agency insures CU deposits).
Thanks. Should I just be up front re. the MS opportunity with this or is it even relevant? Considering they approved and opened the account with my current address and documents, should this even come up? The FCU will claim there was an understanding/agreement that I'd be moving to their state, but that seems irrelevant as I would never bank with them after this experience, even if I lived in MI.
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Old Apr 5, 17, 2:54 pm
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First, calm down. You'll certainly get your money back, exactly how long it takes and how much hassle you have to go through are the variables.

Like most things in life, you are almost always much, much better off if you can find a way to get them to cooperate. Being belligerent is not going to help with that.

HUCA and ask to speak with someone senior. Have a good story ready. Maybe you were planning to move there, but a job fell through or a family crisis means you will be staying in CA for a while. Until those things get sorted out, you would like to have the account closed. You don't have to give them your whole life story, but you should sound credible

Be polite, be reasonable, give them plenty of chances to do the right thing. They're not going to keep your money - they know they can't do that, they're not complete idiots. They might just drag it out, and if you give them enough reason that could take a while. Better to use a little social engineering, no?

Might take a while, might not. I bet it'll take less time if you can get them to work with you.
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Old Apr 5, 17, 3:23 pm
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what FCU was it?
lumangoy is offline  
Old Apr 5, 17, 3:30 pm
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I'm 100% in agreement -- the thing is that I've been extremely polite and cooperative for many weeks. I explained that my wife's org is doing the transfer and it's currently in legal review so they can't release anything. I explained this a.m. over the tel. that there are board meetings coming up and their lawyer is busy writing all the corporate matter resolutions and revised bylaws and policy manuals. Also that they are doing a lot of restructuring so lots of new contracts. I even joked about the bureaucracy of everything; made it seem as though we were as eager as them (more so!) to get this all sorted since moving halfway across the country was sure to be stressful. Everything was kosher until this woman got on the horn and started acting incredibly rude and belligerent to me; entirely unprovoked. I asked to speak with a manager or supervisor and she flat out refused. I called back again and left a long message with the person who opened my account. She's been so pleasant to deal with.

I am pretty sure that someone got hip to the MS angle on this. The woman that I spoke with today said something along the lines of "your account will remain frozen until we can verify where the funds came from" to which I responded "you know exactly where they came from, the transfer was done over the telephone with Ms. ____ and it was sourced from my credit card". She then replied that the funds will not be released until I move to Michigan, which is just crazy!

I was hoping to resolve this amiably; I requested that the accts be terminated- initially suggesting that I wasn't comfortable with the flip-flopping and conflicting info (acct approved only to be told it was against FCU policy the next day, etc). I had initially suggested that I would return in person this summer to open new accts. Obviously after the confrontational phone call this a.m., things have changed. Now I'm on the defensive because they are literally refusing to close the accts and relinquish the funds.

Someone suggested that I contact the CFPB; would this be useful?

I'm hoping that the person I initially spoke with and who opened the acct for me will return my call this week and that this can be resolved without legal trouble. I mentioned this on her voicemail, saying that I would much prefer to close out on good terms and not have to send this request on legal letterhead bla bla bla.

I can't imagine what the c.c. interest rates will be like on 20K... I'm actually floating 26K between 2 recent FCUs. My own fault, I know. The fees will probably drain any value out of this scheme, ha.

What a pain this is... I will definitely tread softer with this sort of activity in future.
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Old Apr 5, 17, 3:32 pm
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Originally Posted by lumangoy View Post
what FCU was it?
Edited.

Last edited by OliverB; Apr 5, 17 at 5:14 pm
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Old Apr 5, 17, 3:33 pm
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"O, what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive."

You've caused this FCU a lot of hassles with your lies. It's not surprising they're pissed off at you.
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Old Apr 5, 17, 3:45 pm
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Whatever hassles I may have caused (a bit of an exaggeration) have surely been outweighed by the 20K that's been sitting in their vaults for the past month...
OliverB is offline  
Old Apr 5, 17, 4:28 pm
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This is the first time I heard of a case like this. Is it possible for the CU to refund the $20K to the CC you used? You'll be made whole and they don't have to give your refund via cashier's check. If you haven't given them that option, maybe they'll acquiesce to it?
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Old Apr 5, 17, 4:32 pm
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You go the the National Credit Union Association's website and file an online complaint. I recommend telling them the truth. How much detail you go into is a judgement call. I would also email the CU and ask for a copy of the terms and conditions governing your account. This will specify what they can and cannot do, opening requirements, etc.

And stop calling the CU. Nothing productive can come from that given the current situation. Also stop mentioning lawyers, suing them, etc. as that is an absolute last resort. Negotiating something with them would have been the best idea, but it sounds like that ship has sailed at this point. Expect to be without the money at least another 30 days after the regulatory complaint is filed.

Last edited by ctbarron; Apr 5, 17 at 4:37 pm
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Old Apr 5, 17, 5:23 pm
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Originally Posted by Mamibear View Post
This is the first time I heard of a case like this. Is it possible for the CU to refund the $20K to the CC you used? You'll be made whole and they don't have to give your refund via cashier's check. If you haven't given them that option, maybe they'll acquiesce to it?
I don't believe that's possible as I was able to withdraw $200 via ATM/debit card two weeks ago, prior to this unexpected acct freeze. I did so with the intent of avoiding a reversal (in order to secure the cc points) as I had planned on closing the accounts and requesting a check or ACH transfer for the remaining balance.
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Old Apr 5, 17, 5:41 pm
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Originally Posted by OliverB View Post
I don't believe that's possible as I was able to withdraw $200 via ATM/debit card two weeks ago, prior to this unexpected acct freeze. I did so with the intent of avoiding a reversal (in order to secure the cc points) as I had planned on closing the accounts and requesting a check or ACH transfer for the remaining balance.
Well, time to go semi-nuclear. Fire off complaints to the CFPB, Federal Reserve, NCUA, and if you have access to a lawyer have him mail them a letter.

If that doesn't work (had an experience where this failed me) have the lawyer overnight them a draft of the complaint. That should do it.
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Old Apr 5, 17, 5:42 pm
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Originally Posted by ctbarron View Post
You go the the National Credit Union Association's website and file an online complaint. I recommend telling them the truth. How much detail you go into is a judgement call. I would also email the CU and ask for a copy of the terms and conditions governing your account. This will specify what they can and cannot do, opening requirements, etc.

And stop calling the CU. Nothing productive can come from that given the current situation. Also stop mentioning lawyers, suing them, etc. as that is an absolute last resort. Negotiating something with them would have been the best idea, but it sounds like that ship has sailed at this point. Expect to be without the money at least another 30 days after the regulatory complaint is filed.
Thanks so much for this info! I will follow up with the NCUA right away.

When filing the FDIC report I offered all the facts but chose to withhold the intent/motivation for opening the accts as it didn't seem relevant; I was approved with all the requisite documents after all- they reflect my current residence. I will do the same with NCUA. As there's no longer any doubt about sustaining a relationship with the credit union, I don't feel it necessary to bring personal life plans (whether real or false) into the discussion. That was simply said to appease the rep at signup and while it may have been manipulative and insincere, it was also not a guarantee. I made it clear that I had neither a concrete timeline or even a specific city/location to offer. They approved the account anyhow, then some higher-up decided that my story wasn't convincing and chose to seize my accts and funds. The fact is, that if I don't qualify as a member of the credit union based on my state of residence, then my account should be closed and the funds returned. That's just common sense. Therefore, I don't feel the need to justify any reasoning behind the opening of the account itself . That is their liability and it should've been up to them to determine whether or not I was eligible or qualified for membership before agreeing to open an account and take my money. I'll provide only the basics and withhold the unnecessary details about our moving story. If the FCU decides to raise the issue, I'll simply let them know that it's irrelevant as I've requested to close the accts.
OliverB is offline  
Old Apr 5, 17, 5:59 pm
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Help w/ frozen bank account please

CFPB is probably your best and quickest option.
takhliq1 is offline  

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