Bank Of America Took Customer's Name Off CD, Won't Give Her Access Now

V. and her parents are having a heck of a time cashing in the certificate of deposit they opened jointly. She says it just matured, but she’s in Canada (she doesn’t say where her parents are) and they gave power of attorney to another party. BofA won’t deal at all with this other person, but what’s worse, V. says they’ve taken her name off the account entirely.

Here’s her story.

I have a CD account with Bank of America. This is a joint account with me and my parents. Now, both I and my parents have been denied access to this account.

In November 2009, shortly before the maturity date, my parents authorized our friend who lives in California as our power of attorney to act on our behalf to close the account. She was treated poorly, and after several attempts, she was told that the letter authorizing her as a power of attorney has to be notarized by the US embassy (I have never heard of that kind of request coming from any bank in first or second world countries). Nevertheless, we had the letter notarized at the US embassy, and brought it back to Bank of America, Sunnyvale Branch. The branch manager told her that they will contact her, but that never happened. So, she contacted the branch again, only to be told that we need a court order to get our own money back, i.e., she could not act on our behalf, even with a notarized authorization letter that the manager himself had requested.

What was worse, I called several different phone lines trying to access my own account from Canada, only to find out that somehow, someone had removed my name from the system, i.e., they refused to talk to me over the phone because my name is no longer showing up as the one of the account holders! If this is not a technical issue, then, this surely would be a serious legal issue. Because that is to say someone has changed our records without notifying any of us.

I have called Executive Customer Relations general line: 704-386-5687 (which I got from consumerist.com), but I was not satisfied. They asked my parents to contact the bank, since they are showing up as account holders, but my question is, if this was not a joint account, or if my parents had died, who do I talk to? I have the physical evidence that clearly shows I am one of the account holders. Nevertheless, my parents sent another notarized letter to the headquarter to reinstate me as the account holder, but till this day (Feb. 1st, 2010), we are still not able to redeem our money in any way.

Does anyone know how a Canadian can get Bank of America to work with her to get her money back?

Update, Feb 2, 2010: V. has written back in with more info:

Is it possible to add the fact that we opened the account decades years ago; we had another CD account, exactly the same thing, but with less money. I closed it successfully in just 2 years ago. It took me 2 weeks of non-stop phone calls. They kept promising me ‘tomorrow’, but ‘tomorrow never dies’, so I told them ‘if there is any further delays, I am closing both accounts’. But at no point would I have imagined that any one can just take my name off the account, so that I cannot use any telephone banking service anywhere. Is this a lucky ‘co-incidence’?

This money was my parents’ life savings, and they have worked long and hard for that money, and earned every cent of it legally. But till now, the bank has provided no solutions as to what they want from us, so that we can get it back. Are there any laws/ legislations that they have to obey in the States?