Skip to comments.Bank policy frustrates grieving family
Posted on 07/31/2008 6:15:26 AM PDT by kms61
HEMET, Calif. (KABC) -- He gave his life serving this country in the war zone of Afghanistan. But a local bank has refused to cash the government check to pay for his burial. Now his family is fighting back. Navy Corpsman Marc Retmier was the 500th Californian to die in the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. He had dreams of coming home to Hemet to become a doctor. Click in the Eyewitness News Story Window above to watch the accompanying video to this story. But now his family says a controversy involving a bank and his bereavement check is adding an insult to their tragedy. The family of 19-year-old Navy Medic Marc Retmier told Eyewitness News they were stunned when they told by their bank branch manager that they would have to wait nearly two weeks before they could have access to their son's bereavement funds -- money they needed to pay for his funeral services. The family says the two $50,000 checks from the U.S. Treasury could have been verified with a phone call. However, according to the Retmiers, the Hemet branch of Downey Savings and Loan refused to budge. "He did what he believed in doing," said Joy Retmier, Marc's mother. "And they said he was the best of the best, and I believe that. And I
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I bet this is resolved by noon today with sufficient emails and phone calls to the bank’s management.
From a banker? Must have been this guy!...........
Most funeral homes will wait for their money or take a credit card.
It took nearly three weeks for my husband's insurance money last year.
I think that their grief is clouding their thinking.
I thank this family for their sacrifice.
Downey Savings & Loan.
Hello Chuck Schumer? Want to run your mouth for a GOOD cause for once in your life?
Sad as it is- the bank’s holding of significant amounts of funds form deposited checks- is related to combatting money laundering and terrorist financing. When they do that to me, I grit my teeth and try to remember 9-11 and why we now have some of the changes we do.
BTW- they didn’t need even one $50K check to pay for a funeral. Mom and Dad hopefully will take a chill pill and collect their son’s insurance in 14 days, and stop bludgeoning a bank manager who is following the law.
You said it beetter than I did- the parents have grief brain. But fie on the reporter who made a sensational story out of this. There are no winners here.
*Yeah, I know, insert joke about the US Government's fiscal situation
That said, the bank could have made a phone call and verified the checks, especially since these people were already customers for 10 years.
Bravo Sierra! Verifying that a US Government check isn't connected to some shadowy money-laundering scheme is trivial, if the bank chooses to do so. They choose not to, for reasons explained in my previous message.
Bank of America does stupid things like this. Any check over 500 or so is held for 10-14 days even though I have more than enough to cover in the many accounts I have there; where I have been a customer for 10 years at least. Policy policy policy I guess. Doesn’t bother me, but I can see where it will bother some people greatly.
First, condolences to the family. However, this seems like an overreaction to me. Any bank is going to be concerned when a party wants to cash $100,000 in checks. Aren’t credit unions or S&L’s more on the line to their members should the checks turn out to be bogus? They claim the bank could have verified the funds with a phone call but who to call and how may not have been that clear. How many of us can get through to the necessary party in the government at the spur of the moment?
As another poster pointed out, all they had to do is deposit the checks and then notify the funeral home and they doubtless would have been able to provide whatever kind of funeral they wanted. It sounds like they got the funeral but are just angry at the delay in getting the funds.
I fully understand the frustration and the effect of grief but they are jumping on the litigation bandwagon way too fast and trashing a credit union whose rules were in place long before this incident. Please, let this not be another Cindy Sheehan in the making.
Following the law? That's a funny way of looking at this. The law, which was written by bankers (and their blood sucking lawyers) ALLOWS banks to hold the funds from certain classes of checks for various lengths of time. BUT THE LAW DOES NOT REQUIRE A BANK TO HOLD FUNDS.
So, saying the branch manager is following the law by holding the funds is bank spin.
But I agree with others who have posted that the funeral home will wait for their money if they know the family is waiting for funds to clear the bank. So, there really shouldn't have been any panic over this matter.
One Bank that I once dealt with with was particularly unscrupulous in the use of this loophole which legalises CHECK KITEING by the banks. Even though I had had an accout with US Bank for years, even though my need to cash Checks over $5,000.00 was rare, and those checks were certainly not overtly suspicious, US Bank would always hold such checks for the 11 days they are permitted by law and often sveral days longer. The overdraft fees alone that they get from unsuspecting victims must amount to multi millions for the banks.
or another bank will step up
We left bank of america after they took 17 days to clear a check. Union Bank in Oceanside has never held a check more than 6 days and that was a large out-of-state check.
perhaps a banker will weigh into this discussion about the financial reporting provisions of the Patriot Act and the Bank Secrey Act- both of which levied reporting requirements on banks and led to special treatment of withdrawals in excess of $10,000
It is not something a bank would lobby for- having to profile customers and collect and report information to the US Govt
There are new (since 9-11) rules about banking transactions in excess of $10,000, including those by customers for whom such large transactions are out of their normal profile.
I have been through this several times when depositing large checks. Banks do have some flexibility in developing their own policies in how to comply with the federal laws and acts. Soemtimes we dont find out what they are until we experience them. If we don’t like them, if we think the holds are excessive, we change banks.
But few of us who aren’t normally high rollers are going to walk into any bank and cash two checks for $100K and walk out. The credit union that did this- might seem like nice guys- but maybe they should be questioned by shareholders for making rules by the seat of their pants.
It is curious that pointing this out has led to me being called a bullshitter and otherwise reviled
The bank is being an a—. It could have cleared say 10,000 from one check to handle the expenses.
Don’t know if you can partially clear one check. Had the parents deposited the checks, then perhaps it could have authorized $10k charges but apparently the parents were trying to cash both checks, not deposit them. At least that’s how I read the article.
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