Complaint / review text:
My boyfriend and I had our tax refunds deposited in our friend's bank account. We are all Jamaicans who worked in the US for the summer, but my boyfriend and I lost our bank accounts due to extended non-activity so we used our friend's Chase Bank account. The bank accepted our deposits on March 13,2013 and everything was okay until my friend tried to wire the money to my local account.
The bank stopped the transaction and restricted my friend's account. They said it was a breach of security for my friend to accept tax refunds that are not in her name into her bank account. They closed out her account and mailed her a check with the funds that belonged to her. They initially told her that they would mail out all the funds including ours. Then they said they are going to return the money to the IRS 21 days after her account closes. Then they said all three of us must come into a Chase branch to claim the funds. When we explained that's not possible, they said my boyfriend and I can come into any Chase branch with two forms of ID and claim the funds. Then they said all three of us have to come into the branch or have the IRS recall the money.
We had the IRS do a trace of our funds in an attempt to recall it, but it didn't do much since the funds were deposited by Turbo Tax's bank (Santa Barbara Tax Products Group) and not directly by the IRS. Upon contacting Santa Barbara Tax Products Group, they said they cannot recall the money, so that too was a dead end. The last alternative we got from Chase Bank was for all three of us to visit the consular in our country with two forms of ID so that our identities could be verified and confirmation that we know each other. The rep from the bank said the consular agent is to call into the bank for a fax number or email address so copies of our IDs can be sent to them. She assured my friend that the embassy does provide such service and once this is done, a check will be prepared with the funds for me and my boyfriend.
All three of us visited the embassy on the 21st of June and we followed through with the procedure, EXCEPT the consular agent said she would not be able to call the bank and fax any information to them because that is not something they do. The chief of the consular section that handled our appointment notarized our documents with authentic stamps and seal to prove that she saw all three of us. To date, the bank still has our money in a suspended status and refuses to release the funds unless the consular agent faxes in the documents.
Yes, we all made a mistake (one we suffered from for three months), BUT it's to my understanding that the bank should have never accepted the transaction. They should have rejected it so they made a mistake too. Chase refuses to return the money to the issuing bank. They refuse to let my bf and I come claim our money and they won't accept our IDs unless the consular agent faxes them in. So I need some legal advise on how we can take legal action against Chase Bank. Please no lectures about we should have never used our friend's account. It's depressing enough.