Dear Chase Bank…
I know it’s not a lot of money to you, but it is to me…
Wait. Let me back things up a second. I need to explain.
As you all probably saw in my previous post, my father died nearly 3 months ago. He didn’t have much, but the little bit he did have would of course pass down to me, my brother, and/or my mother. After months of filing paperwork, faxing documents, and jumping through numerous hoops, my mother finally got the life insurance money that she was entitled to through their divorce. It wasn’t much, but our plan was to split it three ways. Since they are both members of the same credit union, my mother easily just transferred my brother’s portion into his account. She wrote me a check, which I then deposited into a Chase bank ATM.
I deposited the check some time last week … let’s say Thursday. Today (Tuesday) the check had processed in my account, but the funds were inexplicably not available. I called Chase and was told that they had placed a hold on the funds and needed to call the credit union the check was written on in order to verify the funds. I wasn’t too mad at this point. I figured they’d call the credit union, verify the funds, and release the hold. Unfortunately, the credit union was not open at that time, so they were unable to verify.
I called back at about 10am when I was certain that the credit union would be open. After being on the phone for over half an hour, the customer service rep told me that the credit union would not verify the funds over the phone. They then added that I had two options at that point. I could have the person who wrote the check (my mother) put them in touch with a banker at the credit union to verify the funds, or I could take my mother into a Chase branch and have her log in to her bank account and show them that the funds were processed. If neither of these conditions were met, the funds would be automatically released on March 11th – nearly two weeks after I initially deposited the check.
Now, is it me, or does this seem a little excessive in order to release a hold on a couple thousand dollars? I had, and still have, many questions.
Why was my deposit flagged in the first place?
Why am I being made to jump through so many hoops in order to release a fairly low amount of money?
Why is Chase so insistent upon maintaining their kung fu grip on my dead father’s insurance money?
Why is Chase ignoring my tweets? Their only response so far is that my “case” has been “escalated” and I’d be contacted when a decision was made. This leads me to my final question(s)…
Why am I on trial? My “case”? Once a decision is made? Why is my piddling amount of money on trial, and why has Chase made themselves the judge and jury?
All of these questions lead me to one answer: Class discrimination.
I’m not a rich person. I wouldn’t even deem myself middle class. I live check to check, barely making enough money to get by and feed my son. I’ve taken out numerous pay-day loans in the recent past, and made many intentional overdrafts (not with Chase though) because I needed the money “now” and knew that once I got paid I’d be able to cover the fee.
Side note: In 2012, bank customers paid $32 BILLION dollars in overdraft fees. In other words, greedy ass banks took $32 billion EXTRA dollars out of the pockets of people who already didn’t have money. Classy, isn’t it?
Anyway, the point is that I’m not very well off. My guess is that Chase saw that a guy who routinely has a low balance in his bank account was making what was, by comparison, a large deposit and decided, “Naaaah, something’s fishy here. FLAG HIM!”
So to be perfectly clear, my meaningless transaction was cause enough to raise a red flag in the eyes of Chase – a company who has robbed lower class citizens in order to line their own pockets for years. I guess only “valued customers” who maintain a high balance are entitled to receive their dead parent’s life insurance money in a timely fashion.
As the day wore on, and Chase continued to do nothing other than cling to my dead father’s money like Linus clings to his blanket, I only became angrier.
Chase has done nothing but only confirm my suspicions of favoritism. While I’ve continued to pointlessly tweet my frustrations and request they release the hold, Chase has gone out of their way to help the executive producer of The Big Bang Theory. After all, his money IS more valuable than mine, right?
It’s been nearly 12 hours since I initially called Chase, and there has yet to be a single stitch of progress. The crazy thing about this is that they’re the ones making this so complicated. Just release the hold. What’s the big deal? I’ve been harassing them all day, getting tons of retweets, and now I’m about to send this blog entry to every major news publication that pops into my mind … and for what? So Chase can be sure that couple thousand dollars actually belongs to me? So that they can then turn around and dig their greedy slimy palms into the pockets of other unassuming lower class citizens and extract MILLIONS? Then turn BACK around and raise an eyebrow at me as if I’M the one out here executing shady and prejudiced business practices?
How long are we going to allow banks to brazenly steal from the lower and middle class? How long are we going to validate their sense of entitlement to our money by continuing to allow them to take it without facing any repercussions? I think it’s time we said that enough is enough. We rely too heavily on banks, and they take advantage of it. Chase currently has a stranglehold on my dead father’s life insurance money and feels SO entitled to it that they won’t even provide me an explanation as to why they want it so badly and why it apparently belongs to them until they decide I can have it. We have to draw the line somewhere, and I think this should be it.