by Larry Teren
Harry stopped Friday mid-afternoon in his office, anticipating picking up a nice sized check mailed by a client. He wasn’t disappointed. He quickly went downstairs to the bank on the ground level of the building and waited for the teller to motion him forward. He handed over the deposit slip and the check. The teller looked at the pieces of paper and input his account number into the computer. After staring at the screen for a moment she turned to Harry and said: “sorry, I can’t accept this. Your account is restricted.” Harry asked her to repeat what she said and then for her to explain what that meant. The teller told him to take it up with the bank manager.
The bank manager invited him into her office cubicle and said that his account was restricted and that they didn’t want to do business with him anymore. Harry immediately thought someone had done identity theft and did something illegal with his account. Or, that they felt his business was not worth it as he was too often transferring funds between accounts. He asked for all the money in his three accounts- a business checking, personal checking and “high” savings account (which was only giving out .01 interest). The manager said his accounts were frozen and that she could not give it to him. She did, though, offer to call the fraud department (also known as internal affairs). They commiserated and then put Harry on the phone where the fraud people finally agreed to give him an amount from two of the accounts which came to about a third of his money.
What made this excruciating was that he was given no reason for the “divorce” and Monday would be Labor Day so he would have to wait until Tuesday to pursue the matter further. Nor could he any longer use his debit card or checks. When Tuesday morning finally came, Harry brought an attorney with him to the bank office branch manager. This time she said she was prepared to give him the rest of his money exclusive of keeping open a small amount to make sure that all checks that he had written had cleared. Two days later, he then went back to collect the final amount. At that time, the bank manager said she could now tell him why this was happening as all his accounts were closed. He then asked her if a certain event was what had triggered the parting of the ways. She nodded. So, what happened that caused Harry to encounter bank account restriction? Continue reading “Bank Rupture”