Dealing with the Bank
Every time I sit down to write a post, I hope it won’t be even more fictional sounding, yet here I am.
I went to my father’s bank, Bank Financial, on June 14th with my Financial Power of Attorney paperwork to get him a current statement, a new bank card, as my brother took it, and online access to his account. I called the 800 number on June 9th and was told that all I had to do was bring my paperwork to a local branch, and it would quickly be taken care of.
I drove 30 minutes to Libertyville, IL, where my father would frequent in person for his banking needs before my brother put him in a nursing home. I often went to this particular location when I ran my father’s errands, and I would make deposits for him. They would always ask me how he was doing.
I noticed they changed their hours right before I left my house, so they closed at 4 pm. I got to the bank around 3:10 pm.
I explained to the teller that I was newly Financial Power of Attorney for my father and that we needed to re-issue him a new bank card, ensure no funds misappropriation, and restore his online access. The teller spoke to me for approximately 10 minutes before saying, “Oh, we don’t have a manager here today. They are the ones that deal with Power of Attorney. You must go to the Northbrook location because she works there today.” I have no idea why I wasn’t told that right off the bat. I was given the manager’s card with her name.
The Northbrook, IL location was 30 min away in the opposite direction, and it would leave me, if lucky, 10-15 minutes before they closed. Fine, I’ll make it work. I got to the second location at 3:45 pm. I walk in and ask for the specific manager, Nahrain Odisho. There were two other bank employees there, a female, and a male.
I explain again that I was my father’s new Financial Power of Attorney and that we needed to re-issue him a new bank card, ensure no funds were misappropriated, and restore his online access. I tried my best not to sound like I was complaining or bad-mouthing my sibling, but I still gave the information she asked me for, which was very little.
I was there for 45 minutes. I will do my best to condense this nightmare hellscape situation.
- She said it didn’t matter that I was Financial Power of Attorney and couldn’t do anything because I wasn’t on the account.
- The bank manager became confrontational, wouldn’t look me in the eye, and kept repeating that my family issues weren’t her problem and that there was something wrong with my family if I couldn’t just communicate with my sibling.
- She told me I needed a notarized letter from his doctor explaining why he couldn’t physically visit a location. She didn’t believe me about his health, deafness, and how she didn’t know me, and I was probably lying.
- She kept arguing with me that my father was “fine enough to sign the POA paperwork” and kept saying the incorrect date on the paperwork, “He was able to sign it on the 14th!” and I would say, “Again, he signed it on the 1st, today is the 14th”. I had to correct her three times, and how being able to barely sign papers while on his back with a clipboard does not equal being able to go from bedbound to physically able to go to a bank branch location.
- She refused, at first, to look at my Financial Power of Attorney documents. Then she argued that she felt it wasn’t legit or it was a copy. At this point, I started getting teary-eyed. This was not at all how I expected this to go. I explained it was the original, notarized Financial Power of Attorney paperwork. She then said she had to “set the alarm” and asked the male to accompany her. They went behind a divider and proceeded for around 6-10 min to whisper loudly about my situation. She then gave me the paperwork back. I asked if she wanted to make a copy for her end. She said no. I asked again if it wouldn’t be wise for them to make a copy. Finally, the other woman got up, took my paperwork, and made a copy. Neither the other female nor male spoke to me while I was there.
- Since she kept saying she couldn’t help me, I was going to leave. When I gathered my documents and put them back into my purse, she said, “Wait a minute, wait a minute, maybe I could do… something with the account.”
- She had me go into more detail than I felt comfortable with about why “simply reaching out” to my brother wasn’t an option for me. After I explained, she called my brother in front of me and said the following fucked up things:
- “Your sister is here trying to get on the account.”
- “Do you know what your sister is trying to do?”
- “You need to go to a bank location in person, do whatever you need to do with the account as soon as possible.”
- “You’re secondary on the account, so you can do whatever you want on the account.”
- She then informed me that she would have the fraud department review the account. I took this to mean that they would see if my brother was misusing the funds, which confused me due to her repeatedly saying that he could do whatever he wanted with any funds in the account, so how would the fraud department do anything? I clearly remember her using the word fraud.
- It shocked me so much that she would behave this way that I actually started crying. I was humiliated. I said, ma’am, I am not trying to get onto the account. I am trying to help my dad regain access and a bank statement. She ignores me. So after that, I said, “Well, I should thank you because I haven’t cried since February when my mom died.“
A possible theory, she knows my brother. She is the bank manager of the Libertyville location that my father and, most likely, my brother frequented in person almost weekly for years. It would explain why she kept saying she didn’t know me, which I felt was strange. Of course, she didn’t know me. I was a customer, not her bestie from high school.
I did call the primary customer service line on June 15th, which lasted 13 minutes, and I explained the situation to Beverly and was told, well, if Nahrain Odisho says you didn’t have the correct documents, referring to the notarized doctor’s letter, I mentioned above, then there’s nothing we can do. I said no, the situation was inappropriate, and I needed to speak to a supervisor. I was told to leave my name and number for a supervisor to call me back. I still haven’t gotten a callback from that situation.
Then, out of nowhere, I got a call on June 16th from Nahrain Odisho. I didn’t know who it was, and when I answered, she merely said, “Bank Financial, calling you back,” so I assumed it was from my call to customer service for a supervisor. I said may I ask your name? And then she gave her name, Nahrain Odisho.
Oh, holy hell.
I asked why she called me, and she said, “I told you I would call you in 48 hours.”
I replied, “No, you never said that to me. You never indicated anyone would call me. I want to discuss your highly inappropriate behavior the other day when I was physically in your bank location. What you did was not only grossly inappropriate but–“ Then she proceeded to interrupt me, the first time, saying, “This sounds like more family issues to me –”
Today Sarah is not like a few days ago, crying in a bank in public Sarah.
“Do not interrupt me. I am the Financial Power of Attorney for my father. It is legal and appropriate for me to request a new bank card, a bank statement, and online banking access for my father, the primary account holder. What you did by calling my brother, lying, saying I was trying to get on the account, and telling him to go to a bank location in person to do whatever he needed to do with the account, was grossly inappropriate. You were highly aware that we suspect the misappropriation of funds –“
She interrupted me a second time, trying to say she was merely calling the number on file. To that, I said, “That is false. You confirmed my father’s phone number, which started with a different area code than the number you called. When you called my brother, you never even confirmed who you were speaking to. You knew exactly who you were calling. And let me be clear, do not interrupt me again. There will not be a third interruption when I am speaking. Is that clear?”
I was then informed that when she previously, during the in-person encounter, told me that the fraud department would review the account, I took it to mean that they would see if the funds were being misused. NOPE. The fraud department is reviewing my Financial Power of Attorney documents because the bank manager feels they aren’t legal and that I am trying to commit fraud!!!
I said that I expect a call on Tuesday, that I was aware that Monday was a holiday, and that I will talk to her supervisor about all of this. I told her to have a good day and disconnected the call.
On Tuesday the 20th, she did call around 5 pm to tell me she hadn’t heard back from legal. I asked her what she meant by legal, that based on my recollection, she told me the fraud department would be reviewing the account, and she responded, “I NEVER said fraud! We don’t HAVE A FRAUD DEPARTMENT!! ONLY LEGAL! I had TWO WITNESSES THERE!!” I was like… ok, to the best of my recollection, you said fraud, and all banks have a fraud department, but sure, let’s focus on this. Cool.
I asked her why she felt my Power of Attorney paperwork wasn’t legit, and she said that my brother came into a facility in the month of June and “locked down the account from any changes.” I was not given a date, just the month of June. I was made Financial Power of Attorney on June 1st, and she called him on the 14th. It does matter when he did this because if he did it prior to her phone call, that’s one thing, but if he did it because of her phone call, that’s another.
She said she would call me the following Wednesday, and if she hadn’t heard from the other department, she would call them herself.
I got no call on Wednesday the 21st.
Thursday, the 22nd, I got a call to inform me that she still hadn’t heard anything.
She said that legal wanted to speak to my father. I blew up a little bit, “I explained in explicit detail in person and in each of our phone calls that my father is completely deaf. He is bed-bound. He is unable to make a phone call or use a TTY. I don’t know or care why you don’t believe me, but that you’re not giving the department the correct information is a huge problem here.”
I told her to call the facility herself and gave the phone number and name of social services.
I then asked if she could give me a specific date on when my brother made the lockdown changes on the account, and she said no, that he was a frequent in-person visitor to the bank and that the bank protects their customers. DO THEY, THOUGH?! Because my sick, deaf, and elderly father doesn’t seem to be protected here.
She told me she would call me back on Friday the 23rd. I got no phone call. I called her and left a voicemail.
WTF is my life?!