Because Marc B. hadn’t used his account for a few years, Bank of America decided he must have died, and froze his account. Then they started charging a maintenance fee, which eventually overdrew his account. Full email inside.
I opened a bank account with Bank of America (simplest one, I had just moved into the country and didn’t need anything fancy, nor could I get it because of no credit history) around 4 years ago and used it for roughly a year. Having another more suitable bank account (read: with lower fees), I stopped using the BoA account and decided to leave some money there, figuring that I will find a good occasion to spend it on a future purchase.
A couple years pass, then BoA decided that I might be dead (that’s what the customer agent told me later) and froze my account (to prevent anyone from using my dead corpse’s money (customer agent again)).
Well, in fact somebody could still my use my money, not me (I could be dead, remember), but Bank of America itself, who decided that it should take $5.95 every month. Eventually this account dried, and I became negative on my balance, they continued asking for $5.95, no mercy for the poor dead man.
I eventually found the nearest BoA branch to close this account. Nothing can be that simple, because my account was frozen (well semi frozen since BoA keep unfreezing it to get $5.95 a month), they had to call whoever (Microwave master?) to unfreeze it. The Master was obviously busy because the call was still waiting when I left 20 minutes later. The agent didn’t offer me to refund me the monthly fees and explained that this was the procedure to cover for all the account. Fair enough I answered, just for me how many transactions happened on the account in the last 3 years ? None, sir.
So how I see it is, BoA freeze a dead person’s account and dries it off before the inheritors can get access to it. If you are planning to die soon, avoid BoA, well in fact avoid them period.
Sounds like it’s time to get in touch with someone higher up. The first place I send people who email us is to The Ultimate Consumerist Guide to Fighting Back. There, Marc will find corporate phone numbers for Bank of America, as well as the mailing address for the CEO.