How to Cope If the Bank Unexpectedly Closes Down Your Account
If you have a bank account, even if it is mostly empty most of the time, count your blessings. Working people without bank accounts face an uphill battle when trying to do the things that those with bank accounts take for granted, such as paying bills on auto pay, renting an apartment, or applying for a loan. Having the sources of stability that we have come to take for granted yanked out from under us has become the new normal ever since the days of the COVID-19 pandemic, but having the bank close your account without warning and without explanation is on a whole new level of disruption. If you are reeling from the unexpected closure of your bank account, or if you are just trying to get to a stable enough financial position where you can withstand the unexpected, contact a Plantation debt lawyer.
Suspicious Activity Reports Are a Nightmare for Consumers and Small Business Owners
Franz Kafka is known for describing fictional scenarios where unseen forces, including but not limited to the state, create havoc in ordinary people’s lives without warning and for no discernible reason. For example, in the Metamorphosis, a man wakes up one morning and discovers that he has transformed into an insect; he remains an insect for the rest of the book and never finds out why he shapeshifted.
When a bank closes your account as part of its “de-risking” practices, all you get is a letter saying that the bank has closed your account. The bank eventually refunds you the money that was in your account when the bank shut it down, but you may or may not be able to open a new account at the same bank. When you call customer service, they tell you that the bank filed suspicious activity reports (SARs) on your account, but you never find out why; these reports are confidential. A recent report by the New York Times has posited several characteristics that are common in de-risked accounts:
- Multiple transactions just below the federal reporting threshold of $10,000
- Frequent wire transfers to or from a foreign country
- Account holders who have a criminal record
A lot of accounts have one or more of these characteristics, so it is difficult to predict which ones the banks will shut down.
Protecting Yourself Against the Shock of Getting Dumped by the Bank
The easiest way to protect yourself against suddenly and inexplicably becoming un-banked is to have accounts at more than one bank. This way, if one of your bank accounts suddenly gets shut down, you can move all of your direct deposits and automatic payments to your other account, so you can avoid late fees.
Work With a Debt Lawyer About Expecting the Unexpected
A South Florida debt lawyer can help you get your finances in order so that you can qualify to open one or more bank accounts and can bounce back quickly if a bank suddenly closes one of your accounts. Contact Nowack & Olson, PLLC in Plantation, Florida to discuss your case.