Dave can’t get Bank of America to accept that his parents are gone, even after sending over the death certificates. He keeps telling the bank to take the house, because nobody in his family wants it and the mortgage is underwater. Bank of America keeps threatening his parents with letters about how behind they are on payments. Oh sure, everything about this story is funny on the surface, but not when Bank of America tries to extract money from a closed account you once shared with your dad, forcing it to re-open and siphon funds from your real accounts.
Can my parents be simultaneously alive and dead? That’s what Bank of America seems to be telling me.
My parents passed away within a few months of each other. I did my duty as their son, and mailed off death certificates to various creditors.
I was a bit worried about their house – none of the heirs wanted it, as the Bank of America mortgage is deep underwater. But I was specially worried as Dad had set up payment auto-withdrawal from a joint bank account at Charter One – that had both his and my name on it (my name is not on the house, just the bank account.)
I called BOA and asked to terminate the bank auto-withdrawal, and also let them know that Mom and Dad are gone, and the house was now theirs. Curious reaction to this, by the way. The rep acknowledged the deaths, but then told me he “didn’t know” what would happen next. This was probably the most honest thing a BOA rep ever told me.
I backed up this action at my bank, by closing the joint account, and filing death certificates with the bank as well.
Of course, BOA being what it is, they soon attempted to draft the closed bank account for the next mortgage payment. To my horror, Charter One re-opened the closed bank account and paid them – this account now had only my name on it, Dad’s name was removed – and they had to pull money from another of my accounts to make the payment!
Upon inquiry I was told that closed accounts will indeed be re-opened to pay checks. My startled response was something like “you re-open dead people’s accounts?”
Then I called BOA, and the rep swore up and down that they stopped the auto-withdrawal per my request, and that it must have been Charter One that sent them the money, unbidden!
Luckily I reclaimed my money (two weeks later) by filing a protest with Charter One. But the story doesn’t end here.
BOA has now been sending a stream of letters to my dead parents – some addressed to the estate of my Mom and Dad, but others addressed to my living parents, trying to scare them into making payments. It seems that BOA considers them as both living and dead! The letters to the estate – the letters that know they are dead – have been a bit tamer, just wanting to know why an “authorization revoked” has been placed on the bank account.
The last time I called, I tried to find out where I should send the house keys to. The rep I got at first swore that I could not have possibly sent in death certificates. Then he found them. I have no idea whether this fixed the problem or not.
But he didn’t want my house keys. He said I have to wait, and call back regularly, while they process a deed-in-lieu.
What do you think? Do I have to call BOA back “regularly” and chase this? Or just walk away? There’s no threat to the estate, Dad had no real assets when he died.