Bank Of America Robbed Me, Didn't Need A Mask Or Getaway Car

Tom says Bank of America closes his checking account and refunded only $60 of the $100 he had in the account, dinging him $40 for an “investigation fee.” The bank hasn’t given him a reason for the closure or the fee.

He writes:

I had just moved to a new city in April and needed to set up a proper checking account for the first time in several years (I’d been using ING up until this point, and while I have absolutely no complaints about their service, they don’t offer check books, only debit cards), and found a deal online for Bank of America for a no fee checking account as long as I signed up using their web form and made at least 5 debit transactions per month or signed up for direct deposit.

I primarily just needed this account to pay rent and split bills with my new roommates, so this seemed like a decent, no frills option. On April 6th, I went ahead and signed up for the account, making a $100 deposit to get the ball rolling, and on April 8th I received an email that my account was approved. A week later I started receiving my debit card and other account information in the mail. I activated the card, but never bothered to use it, as, again, it was primarily an account just for paying bills.

A week after that (around April 20th), I received another communication from BoA, this time informing me that my account was being closed and my checking account balance was being refunded. I called in to customer service, and was essentially told that they could not tell me why my account was being closed, but that I could go in to a local branch and try to talk them into reopening my account. This didn’t seem like a desirable option, given that BoA had already shown me that they could and would close my account on a whim and not give me a reason, so I just requested that my $100 initial deposit be returned to me.

This is where things, at least for me, go from idiotic to insulting. Just today, I received yet another letter from BoA, informing me that I should be on the lookout for the refund of my initial $100 deposit… Minus a $40 account investigation fee.

I had a Bank of America account for probably less than a week and a half. Then, without providing a reason, they closed my account and have been holding my money hostage for the last 2-1/2 weeks. Now, to, modify an idiom, add injury to insult, they’ve decided that, for the privilege of providing me with no services, blocking my access to my funds, and disrupting my ability to pay my bills, they are going to charge me $40.

This is ridiculous, insulting, and, given the fact that I’ve just moved to a new city and am still trying to establish myself, not exactly a trivial amount of money for someone such as myself. I’ve never been turned down at a financial institution before, be that for a checking account, savings, car loan, mutual fund, IRA, but then again, I’d never gone through BoA before either.

Have you ever been hit with this particularly nasty and secretive fee? What might Tom do to get his money back?

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