Chase Customers Say Their Accounts Are Being Closed Suddenly
Four people have come forward with claims of concerning experiences.
Most of our money is handled electronically these days. We keep our life savings hidden away in bank accounts, using wires, cards, and even digital apps to transfer our funds when we need to make payments. And since we're not usually seeing money change hands with our own eyes, we have to have a certain level of trust in the companies we choose to bank with. Unfortunately, customers of one major banking institution are now claiming that their trust was misplaced. Some Chase customers say that their bank accounts have been suddenly closed. Read on to find out more.
One woman says her account was closed after a student loan refund.
Finding out that your student loan debt has been forgiven would be a dream for many people. But for one Atlanta woman, it actually turned out to be a nightmare, local ABC-affiliate WSB-TV Channel 2 reported on Dec. 8. Lois White told Channel 2 Consumer Investigator Justin Gray that she received a letter from her federal student loan servicers informing her that her debt had been forgiven, alongside a refund check for overpayments.
But when White deposited the $5,298 check in her Chase bank account by mobile deposit, she said the institution put a fraud hold on the check and on her account. "Apparently, they couldn't verify this check was real," she told Gray.
White said that Chase eventually closed her account and refused to budge even after she went back to her loan servicer to get written confirmation of the validity of the refund check.
"I went to the branch. I gave them this letter. I gave them this check, gave them my ID my birth certificate, social security card," she said. "I feel like a criminal, like I've done something wrong."
The Atlanta woman said she has "always been able" to pay her bills on time but is now couch-surfing because she can no longer access her money after Chase closed her account. However, Channel 2 reached out to the banking company, and someone from the executive office contacted White just hours later to say they are researching her case.
"We are working with our customer and the United States Treasury to verify any funds she is due," a Chase spokesperson told the news outlet.
Another customer says Chase held funds from the sale of her home for weeks.
Back in March, an 80-year-old woman from Amityville, New York, experienced similar trouble attempting to deposit a much larger amount of money, News12 The Bronx reported. Mary Smith received a check for $223,785.32 after selling her home in December to downsize into a trailer, and since Chase does not have a dollar limit on ATM deposits, she deposited the check into her account at a drive-thru ATM in the nearby town of Merrick.
The money did not go into her account, however. Chase initially told Smith in a letter that they could not process the check and would return it within 10 days, but then held onto it for several weeks. "I felt terrible, terrible. I really needed the money," she told News12.
With such a large amount in limbo, Smith had to sleep on a couch in her trailer because she didn't have any money for furniture and she could barely afford food. "I had mayonnaise sandwiches! I had to borrow money from somebody to pay my rent," she explained.
Lawyer Charles Rosenblum, managing partner at Krohn, Rosenblum & Rosenblum, worked pro bono for Smith to try to get answers from Chase and only after he filed a federal complaint with the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) did Chase return the check—two months after Smith tried to deposit it.
When News12 reached out to Chase, a spokesperson said that they initially thought there was an issue with the check but wouldn't explain what that issue was due to "privacy concerns." The spokesperson also said that two months is the standard timeframe for verification.
"We appreciate Ms. Smith's patience," the Chase spokesperson told News12. "We strive to make sure all deposits are valid."
Another woman had her account closed after an employee error.
New Jersey resident Sheila McAllister also had check-related problems with Chase this year, The New York Times reported on Dec. 9. At the end of the summer, McAllister decided to redirect all of her direct deposits to an account she opened at Chase because her small community bank had limited online services. She also set up her auto bill pay with this account, and since the direct deposits took time to process, she wrote a few checks from her old bank to her new Chase in order to pay some of her larger bills, such as rent and health insurance.
Two days after making a remote deposit, the money still hadn't cleared into her account. So McAllister walked to her nearby Chase branch in Westwood to ask for the hold on one of her checks to be lifted, but the worker accidentally deposited the same check in McAllister's account again. "I thought that because the error was made by a Chase employee that this problem will be resolved quickly," she told The New York Times.
Instead, McAllister noticed that her Chase account had been restricted shortly after the error and was told by the bank's escalation team that she was being investigated for fraud. They didn't tell her that the first issue had been resolved, however, and that it was actually her next check—which she wrote to herself—that had been flagged because the handwriting looked suspicious. Eventually, Chase closed her account and said they did so to avoid potential losses to the bank.
"When we have concerns about a client's transactions, we act in accordance with our compliance program," a Chase spokesman told The New York Times, adding that the action taken was "consistent with our regulatory obligations."
One man was charged a fee after Chase closed his account.
Another Chase customer says he's been battling with the bank for a year now. In 2022, YouTuber bornalliance.com uploaded a video explaining that Chase had suddenly closed a checking account he had had for almost 10 years for his business. "The weird thing is I don't even know what happened to be honest, and some of the bankers I've spoke with do not know what happened," he said. But even that wasn't the end of his troubles with the company.
In a follow-up video posted this year on Nov. 3, the YouTuber said he was hit with a "fee assessment charge" of $25 from Chase based an autopay he reportedly had set up on the business account that was closed a year prior. In another update video, he said it took him going in to a branch and five business days after to actually get the fee removed.
But he also alerted customers that they need to be aware that they have to manually suspend any autopay payments if they want to avoid getting incorrectly charged by Chase. "Even if the account is closed, you can still be charged a fee," the YouTuber said.