BOA *inactive* checking account

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I have a BOA checking account, for some personal reason (unrelated to this topic), I make $250 direct deposit from each of my paycheck (semimonthly) and transfer all money out to other bank through online transfer whenever the balance accumulates to certain amount, say $2000-$3000.

Last week, I received a letter from BOA saying my account is *inactive*, if I don't do one of the three things below, my money will be transferred to state unclaimed fund and my account will be closed: 1) make a deposit; 2) make a withdraw; 3) send them a letter confirming this is my account and I want to keep it open. It is obviously untrue as there are at least two transactions each month on this account in the past several years.

I called their customer service and initially the representative agreed this didn't make any sense and he could see many activities on my account. After 10+ minutes research, he came back and told me - "as your account only has *internet* activities, BOA treats it as inactive, you have to do something physically to make it look like active". After a couple of branch visits and eventually sent the letter back (I need my money in it!!), my account was reactivated.

My account is ok now, but I really don't understand what BOA is thinking about. I will close this account after I get all my money out of it.

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Just a guess on my part, but I suspect any ACH or bill pay is treated as an automatic transaction because the bank can't... (more)

glxpass (Nov. 04, 2012 @ 11:34a) |

Thanks for the comments. Your first paragraph seems plausible, but I'm not sure how often a death remains undetected fo... (more)

glxpass (Nov. 04, 2012 @ 11:46a) |

I doubt most banks classify a type of ACH transaction based on it's transaction type code, but if a bank wanted to, they... (more)

CycloneFW (Nov. 04, 2012 @ 11:38p) |

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Some states have laws like this, I know that Texas does. I have to confirm an account with a small credit union is mine every few years in writing to satisfy that requirement. (its a free account with $75 in it to hold my membership since I would no longer qualify)

The fact that they are intending to forward the funds to the states unclaimed money fund is indicative. (normally they would send excess funds in a check to you instead) Most likely a single visit satisfied the requirement -- the CSR on the phone isn't going to be familiar with every states law, so for things like this contact your specific branch. (my current BofA account is based in MA, the one before it was CA)

Same with my Chase checking account. Only ACH debits and credits do not signify activity to the bank. They insist that a user initiated activity be done for the account to be considered active.

I have learned something new about state laws today. Thanks and keep it coming.

I had the same thing happen with a credit union checking account. apparently they conduct an internal audit and pull out the accounts that appear to be inactive. They sent me a letter and I had to respond.

Same thing happened to me with another bank. ACH deposits didn't count as activity. Strange that transferring money between accounts online isn't activity. Using your debit card to buy a pencil should count as activity. Mailing them a $1deposit should count too.

I have a BoA checking I opened for the bonus about 2 years ago. During the Mint coin days I would use BoA to deposit the coins. Since then I mainly had been ACHing money in once in awhile and paying my BoA credit cards with it. Evidently, none of those activities count as activities and it went dormant. It took a visit to a branch and an ATM deposit (and several days) for it to reappear online. One thing to be cautious of, it is an eBanking account which charges fee's to talk to a teller. You need to talk to a banker and then use the ATM for the deposit. All very silly.

clutchcargo777,

I have a BoA MyAccess checking account. I ACH $250 in and out every statement cycle. You said your account was flagged as inactive. So ACH's don't count as activity? I need to wait 1 year for my Keep the Change bonus to post. I don't want my account closed before that! Did you do the ACH's every month? You said you did ACH's once in a while. I wonder if it was every month or if you forgot to do it for some statements cycles. Please clarify. Also, if somebody knows if BoA counts ACH's as activity, please let me know. Thanks.

If ACH doesn't work, you might as well deposit a buck every month.

HiLine,

Deposit 1 buck at the bank? I really like avoiding doing real work. The ACH transfers I do are scheduled, so I don't have to do anything. So far I have not been flag as "inactive". I would prefer something that is easy to do once. I'm lazy lol

You could schedule a bill pay to send yourself a dollar every month.

noelandres said:   clutchcargo777,

I have a BoA MyAccess checking account. I ACH $250 in and out every statement cycle. You said your account was flagged as inactive. So ACH's don't count as activity? I need to wait 1 year for my Keep the Change bonus to post. I don't want my account closed before that! Did you do the ACH's every month? You said you did ACH's once in a while. I wonder if it was every month or if you forgot to do it for some statements cycles. Please clarify. Also, if somebody knows if BoA counts ACH's as activity, please let me know. Thanks.


I had missed sending an ACH for about 3 months but in that 3 months I had paid a BoA credit card bill with that checking account.

The banker I talked to thought it was odd that they would do this in only 3 months. BTW, you wont lose your KTC, if they flag it as inactive, just go to a branch, talk to a banker and deposit $20 (at the ATM, not a teller) and everything will be back to normal.

bluechalk said:   You could schedule a bill pay to send yourself a dollar every month.
Schedule a bill pay to send your bank $1 in the mail each month as a deposit to the same account.

Update: This is more hassle then I thought. Apparently when the account is reactivated you lose all settings and all external ACH accounts. I was hit with a $8.95 maintenance fee because my paperless settings were switched to paper (eBanking requires paperless to be free). I called and got it refunded, but watch for it.

Here's what the Bank of America Deposit Account Agreement says about abandoned or inactive accounts:

X. Unclaimed Property – Accounts Presumed Abandoned or Inactive

State and federal law and our policy govern when accounts are considered abandoned. The applicable state law is generally the state listed in the address for your account statement.

Your account is usually considered abandoned if you have not performed at least one of the following activities for the period of time specified in the applicable state's unclaimed property law: made a deposit or withdrawal, written to us about the account, or otherwise shown an interest in the account, such as asking us to keep the account active. You usually need to perform the activity. Therefore, bank charges and interest payments, and automatic deposits and withdrawals, are usually not considered activity.

We are required by the unclaimed property laws to turn over accounts considered abandoned to the applicable state. Before we turn over an abandoned account, we may send a notice to the address we currently show for the account statement. We may not send this notice if mail we previously sent to this address was returned. Unless prohibited by the applicable state law, we may charge to the account our costs and expenses of any notice, advertisement, payment and delivery of the account to the applicable state agency.

After we turn the funds over to the state, we have no further liability to you for the funds and you must apply to the appropriate state agency to reclaim your funds.

If we consider your account inactive, then (unless prohibited by federal law or the law of the state where we maintain your account) we may:
  • charge dormant account fees on the account in addition to regular monthly service charges and other fees,
    stop sending statements,

  • if the account received interest, stop paying interest on the account; and

  • refuse to pay items drawn on or payable out of the account.


If you re–establish contact with us, we do not have to reimburse you for these fees and we are not liable to you for any interest that would otherwise have accrued on your account.

---------------------------------------------
Not letting "automatic deposits and withdrawals [and apparently bill pays]" satisfy activity rules seems completely bogus to me, espcially in an eBanking account. I mean, what's the "e" all about if not counting all electronically-based activities as activity on the account? This is how class action suits start.

I'm not seeing a time frame in there either.

clutchcargo777 said:   I'm not seeing a time frame in there either.

State and federal law and our policy govern when accounts are considered abandoned. The applicable state law is generally the state listed in the address for your account statement.

The document covers multiple states.

I think they consider it inactive even with all of that activity because those transactions seem to be automatic. For example, (not trying to be morbid) if you were to die, it's possible the activity would continue even though you obviously had abandoned the account, so to speak.

Sometimes you read stories about elderly people dying in their homes and being there for years before being discovered. Other than being sad that no friends or family were around to check on them, this happens because their pensions/social security are deposited automatically and rent/utilities deducted automatically so no one realizes something's wrong. I think this is the type of situation the bank is trying to avoid.

glxpass said:   clutchcargo777 said:   I'm not seeing a time frame in there either.

State and federal law and our policy govern when accounts are considered abandoned. The applicable state law is generally the state listed in the address for your account statement.

The document covers multiple states.


I have several accounts that I haven't touched in a year, yet they are still open. You'd think if my states laws said 3 months and you're out, they'd be closed too.

3 months people, this isn't a long lost account from some homeless person long since dead. This is predatory.

clutchcargo777 said:   glxpass said:   clutchcargo777 said:   I'm not seeing a time frame in there either.

State and federal law and our policy govern when accounts are considered abandoned. The applicable state law is generally the state listed in the address for your account statement.

The document covers multiple states.


I have several accounts that I haven't touched in a year, yet they are still open. You'd think if my states laws said 3 months and you're out, they'd be closed too.

3 months people, this isn't a long lost account from some homeless person long since dead. This is predatory.

Just a guess on my part, but I suspect any ACH or bill pay is treated as an automatic transaction because the bank can't distinguish between a scheduled one and a self-initiated one. If true, your ACH's never counted towards keeping your account active. If the bank never sent you a preliminary warning that your account would become inactive unless you took a specific action, then that seems wrong.

aaron27 said:   I think they consider it inactive even with all of that activity because those transactions seem to be automatic. For example, (not trying to be morbid) if you were to die, it's possible the activity would continue even though you obviously had abandoned the account, so to speak.

Sometimes you read stories about elderly people dying in their homes and being there for years before being discovered. Other than being sad that no friends or family were around to check on them, this happens because their pensions/social security are deposited automatically and rent/utilities deducted automatically so no one realizes something's wrong. I think this is the type of situation the bank is trying to avoid.

Thanks for the comments. Your first paragraph seems plausible, but I'm not sure how often a death remains undetected for years. Extremely rarely, I'd guess.

For reported deaths, the SSA maintains a database that can be queried, so the bank has an alternate way of finding this out. Pension Plans use this function for their retirees receiving benefits.

glxpass said:   
Just a guess on my part, but I suspect any ACH or bill pay is treated as an automatic transaction because the bank can't distinguish between a scheduled one and a self-initiated one. If true, your ACH's never counted towards keeping your account active. If the bank never sent you a preliminary warning that your account would become inactive unless you took a specific action, then that seems wrong.


I doubt most banks classify a type of ACH transaction based on it's transaction type code, but if a bank wanted to, they could indeed see the difference between in one-time ACH versus a recurring ACH in most cases.

http://www.suncorp.coop/pdfs/pdf_achnews/ach_code_card.pdf



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