Bank of America Insults my Patriotism by Their Very Name
So does the Federal Reserve
by H. Michael Sweeney
I had just finished posting a blog about the fraudulent means and deceit employed by the founders of the Federal Reserve Banking System which has raked in trillions of dollars of profits at taxpayer expense since founded in 1910… when the very first reader of the post wrote something which set me aback. This is not just because of the injustice visible on the surface, but because the bank involved is a co conspirator with the FED to profit even further at taxpayer expense. That would be, as you by now rightly assume, the Bank of America.
So… after screwing the Federal Government and every single citizen for a $25 billion share of the TARP bailout… and after that bailout money additionally profited them ten times the amount of the bailout (they can loan ten times their cash reserves)… and after they will earn obscene usury (meaning excessive, in that they have no money actually at risk in the loans as they are made out of thin air) interest on all those loans for decades to come… and yet are further conspiring with the FED to dump even more faulty (read bogus) derivatives from Bank liability sheets (and guess who will pay for that in a ‘round two TARP bailout‘?), they still want to steal $500 from a dead woman and her heirs?
If none of the above makes any sense, please see the earlier post, The Federal Reserve, an Appearance of the Fourth Kind, and this story (The Federal Reserve and Bank of America Initiate a Coup to Dump Billions of Dollars of Losses on the American Taxpayer). I think you will then find the following story doubly abhorrent:
This is a true accounting of an actual incident I’ve verified underway in Oregon with Bank of America, but it is presumed all large banks have similar policies and procedures in place. I am open to correction by anyone who knows otherwise regarding any specific bank. What follows is a description of various devious methods applied to siphon off extra money from the accounts of deceased persons when the survivors are of ultra-low income. Actually, the matter would also seem to include an almost conspiratorial partnership with County agencies, at least in this case, so this article could have been entitled, How Banks and Counties Conspire to Rob the Dead and the Poor.
To explain the rip off, we need first to have a basic grasp of how it things should transpire according to law. But to be clear, there is no violation of law yet visible, though violation of fiduciary responsibilities, user agreements, and moral ethics is still an issue. While laws vary in detail from State to State, the following simplified description is generally accurate.
When someone dies, there is either a Will which establishes an Executor of the Estate, or there is not. When there is not, the matter goes into Probate Court and the State determines the final resolution of the Estate. Where there is an Executor, that person is charged with closing all accounts of the deceased, liquidating any property not a specified gift in the Will, distribution of such inheritances, and paying of remaining debts. There will almost always be some funds involved, either from actual cash or bank deposits, or the sale of personal goods or property.
An Executor, often a family member who is also an heir, will be entitled to reasonable compensation for their services which comes from such funds. Such fees are commonly well over $1,000, plus expenses. This and any taxes owed are the only charges against such funds which have ultimate priority for ‘first-payee’ status. Next come creditors, who must be paid in full or, where there are insufficient funds, be paid a pro rated share according to the size of the individual debts involved. Any remaining funds become inheritance, and may be subject to income taxes after the fact.
In a large estate, which in most legal definitions involves Real Property (real estate) or other assets worth more than some specified sum (the lowest I’ve seen is $250,000, but the sum for the State of Oregon I’m told is $2.5M), there are some fairly stringent procedures involving the Court which must be followed. But this does not apply to the poor, does it?
Think of the millions of elderly in nursing homes, for instance. They tend to own no property of consequence, and upon their death, most personal possessions consist of brick-a-brack, polyester clothes from the 60s, a TV, and some personal things such as photos and keepsakes. They tend to have some money resources, but often quite minimal in nature. Often, the Executor named and heirs are also poor, or they might have had a nicer place to live out their last days. Such is the case in the Oregon example:
We are talking about a woman named Wordy Mae, last name omitted for cause. She was 87, legally blind, had Diabetes and several other troublesome ailments, and an income of $1,100 a month, of which all but $150 went to pay for her nursing home. Medicine and personal care came out of the $150. Hers was a good Southern name, one especially common to Blacks and poor rural whites a few generations ago. She died with debts of several thousand but only about $500 in her checking account. Her personal things, other than keepsakes, had no resale value and all went to Goodwill.
Check out her artwork, right, one of her unique keepsakes. Though blind, she would spend countless hours hunched over with a heavy illuminated high-power magnifier and see the color sparkles well enough to glue bits of junk jewelry and plastic into artistic patterns.
So, the big question: did her family or the Executor get anything at all? No. The Bank of America is usurping it with clever ploys.
Wordy’s Son was her named Executor. He has three school-age daughters, also named heirs, but it looks like they will not see a penny, not even to recoup expenses as provided by law. This is unfortunate, because he is unemployable due to a disability for which he has no income allowance (why it should take more than eight years to get official disability is yet another rip-off article which should perhaps be written). He lives on about $1,000 a month Social Security from forced early retirement — which in and of itself cost nearly $400 a month in lost income from his full entitlement.
So we are talking about a family that has to choose between food or gasoline perhaps twice a month, and as result frequently has a diet of hot dogs for lunch and dinner, or Raman noodles every day, often skipping a meal altogether. It took nearly six weeks to come by enough money to buy an ink cartridge so he could write (futile) letters seeking resolution. This is also a family, by the way, which had lost their home in the Mortgage crunch during our recent financial debacle which resulted in the banks being paid billions of dollars in the first place. So they are doubly upset with Bank of America, which played a role in that fiasco, as well.
Here is exactly how Bank of America has managed to steal from them further:
Step one: the Bank somehow knew immediately about the death. Well before Wordy’s Son could notify them, the Bank notified him that the account had been closed ‘for protection of the funds.’ One wonders how the bank was notified so quickly, by whom, and how they knew which bank to notify. I’m working on a possible future blog, Banks Own Your Social Security Number and NAME, for one possible answer.
Step two: the Bank sent him a form to be filled out by the Executor. The seeming purpose of the form was to let the bank know how the Estate would be handled. Reasonable… but it redirects correspondence to a centralized and dedicated department of the Bank out of State. No one local to deal with, providing a mechanism for delays which prove valuable to the Bank, as we shall see.
Step three: delay and silence. Bank statements stop being issued, which seems to make sense, given the account was closed. There is no reply from the special department… though non was particularly expected, except that when the form was mailed, the Executor also sent a copy of the Death Certificate and a final accounting of the Estate, with request of release of the funds to cover Executor fees and his expenses in closing the Estate, which were not inconsequential and which had been difficult to manage without personal hardships. There were not even sufficient funds in the closed account to cover this, so all of Wordy’s funds should have gone to him, calling it inheritance or fees as you please. There were zero taxes due.
Step four: two months later, the special department then sent a letter stating that it was prepared to release the funds but was requiring an original copy, not a certified copy, of a County Court document before they could so proceed. Curiously, they did not specify the nature or name of the document requested. Because they did not, and the Oregon Revised Statutes made no reference to any legal requirement for any such document, the Executor contacted the County in an attempt to learn what was required and how to go about it.
Step five: The County did not respond. Repeated inquiries went unanswered for weeks. Eventually, it was discovered that there was a simple form, not much different than already provided the bank in purpose and content. There was associated with it an outrageous filing fee of $112.00 as well as other fees. This was to cover the cost of… well, ‘filing it’ in a filing cabinet. It was not possible to obtain the original, but only to obtain a certified copy. WTF?
Step six: about this same time, the Bank resumed mailing monthly statements. SURPRISE! The ‘no-fee’ checking account which had been closed was now enjoying a $12 a month service charge for… NOTHING. Perhaps the Bank has a filing cabinet to pay for, too?
Step seven: because the Executor could not possibly afford the filing fees, much less obtain an original copy at any price, it seems the Bank will therefore never have a legal obligation (we would presume that their ultimate argument) to release the funds, and will slowly absorb them until they are absorbed entirely through arbitrary monthly fees — which we might presume will be used to fatten Bank Executive Bonus Checks.
It is stories like this, including some personal experiences, which caused me to close my accounts with Wells Fargo and Bank of America when the 99% suggested it was one way to confront the System. I’d go further if I had the bravado and skills… and become a modern-day Robin Hood — and I thought for a moment I could avoid getting caught (I’d not be very good with a bow and arrow against the FBI). But that’s just my anger talking.
If if moves you to sufficient anger to close your account, tell them Wordy Mae sent you. If you feel compelled to send a buck or two to Wordy’s heirs, send it by PayPal to wordymaeheirs at century link net, an addy I’ve established for the purpose.
I’ll match every dollar contributed from my book sales profits for this year. I’m thinking it might change their diet for a while. And if enough people did that, it would make news, and that would further embarrass the System toward useful redress for all who might be in similar difficulties with Banks and local County governments, which are really for-profit corporations in their own right (look yours up in Dunn and Bradstreet if you don’t believe me).
I also suggest you tweet/repost/email this post far and wide. I am lifting all copyrights upon it if reproduced in full unedited, links in tact, but would appreciate an adviso of any such reproduction in the form of a comment to this post. Appreciate you!
- The Federal Reserve: an Appearance of the Fourth Kind (proparanoid.wordpress.com)
- Estate planning: Taking care of your executor (business.financialpost.com)
- Bank of America’s $40 Billion Mistake – WSJ.com (raptureimminent.wordpress.com)
- The Many Ways Banks Commit Criminal Fraud (americankabuki.blogspot.com)
- Bank of America: Too Crooked To Fail (drx.typepad.com)
- Bank of America slapped with $300k sanction (setexasrecord.com)