What a Mess!

This is ugly! Actually it’s much uglier than I first thought.

Last Thursday, I opened an Ally Bank 9-month No Penalty CD account. However, due to some errors in the process, I ended up opening two accounts, not just one as I wanted, each with an initial deposit of $56,000. Since I don’t have that much money in my account and Ally Bank said they can’t help me cancel the transfer, I called Bank of America immediately after initiating the transfers and paid $30 to put a stop order on the Ally Bank ACH transfers. I don’t want my bank account show a negative balance and to be charged any fee if that happens.

Then last night when I logged into my BofA account, I saw what I really hate to see: a negative balance of $51K, but it was not what I expected $110K. Among those pending transactions, there are two $56K withdrawals and one $56K deposit. Apparently, the stop order didn’t work. I can see where those two withdrawals came from, but couldn’t understand why there’s also a credit. So I called BofA again. After talking to a CSR, whose explanation didn’t make any sense to me, I spoke with a supervisor. She said since those transactions are still pending, she didn’t know much about them either and told me to wait a couple of days when the transactions settle to get an idea. Well, I don’t think I need anybody’s help to figure out what those transactions are if they already settled because at that time each transaction has a description tell me exact what it is. When I asked the supervisor the possible source of the credit, she said maybe the bank puts the credit in because I don’t have enough money in my account. But that’s also weird. If the bank can put $56K in my account, why can’t they put $112K to cover both withdrawals? The supervisor didn’t have anything more to say except asking me to wait.

Since I had my first bank account 13 years ago, I never had negative balance on my account, not even once. I always make sure I have enough money in it to cover our everyday expenses. Now that I have some -$51K in my account for the first time, I want to know what will happen next time. The manager told me I probably will be charged a $35 overdraft fee for each withdrawal until the account is replenished.

$35 for each withdrawal? This couldn’t have happened at a worse time because for years, I have scheduled to make nearly a dozen mutual fund, DRIP stock, and 529 plan investments on the fifth of every month, all withdrawing from my BofA account. In addition to the three $56K transactions, there are also a bunch of small withdrawals on my account because of these investments. If I have to pay $35 for each of them, I could lose hundreds of dollars in this mess :(

The first thing I did this morning when I woke up was checking my account again. While it still shows the same amount of negative balance, one thing did become clear: the $56K credit didn’t come from the bank (it’s quite naive to think the bank actually did that, isn’t it). It’s my own money. What happened was after I told BofA to stop those two transfers last week, I arranged to transfer the money to Dollar Savings Direct instead because I don’t want Ally Bank to have my money any more after what happened. That transaction appeared to be cleared on Monday, but somehow BofA took the money back. At the same, DSD also sent me a message saying that transfer failed. The two Ally Bank transfers, however, are still there.

As the last thing I wanted to do to stop the damage, I called Ally Bank today to cancel one of the CD accounts I opened and transfer the money back to BofA. Of course, I had to go over my story again with the CSR. They said they can do that, even without having to pay the penalty (because the account is opened for less than 6 days, so it’s not penalty free).

Now I can only hope this whole mess go away.

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This post was written by Sun You can find out more about Sun and his activities on Facebook , or follow him on Twitter .

5 Responses to “What a Mess!”

  1. Patrick |  Jul 10, 2009 at 4:02 pm

    That sucks dude. Hope things work out for you. Sounds to me like BofA dropped the ball when you already paid $30 to put a stop order on the Ally Bank ACH transfers. I would argue that point if you incur any expenses. If customer service doesn’t fix the mess, I’d write the CEO a letter. Don’t laugh, it works!

  2. Sounds Like You Messed yourself up |  Jul 16, 2009 at 1:20 pm

    Why would you do what you did – and then post their ads on your Web site? Are you an affiliate of theirs? Seems like you’re playing both sides of the fence here.

  3. Sun |  Jul 17, 2009 at 12:40 pm

    I run many ads here, but it doesn’t mean I endorse all of them if any. What I posted here is my own experience of using the bank. Some may be my own errors that caused the problem, but the bank sure has its share.