Res Ipsa Loquitur
The thing speaks for itself (click on image for link to story)
A growing number of bank customers are having their accounts shut down without much warning or explanation, leaving them without access to their money.
The banks do this when they suspect some form of bank fraud. But experts say in the majority of cases, no fraud is ever found, leaving customers to wonder, Why Me?
When we met Elad Nehorai and his family, they had been at a Bank of America branch in West Los Angeles for hours trying to get access to their life savings. That morning, when Nehorai tried to log into his online bank account, he got an alert.
"Bank of America told me it was shut down. They refused to give me an explanation. They told me I would get my money after it was resolved," said Nehorai.
Which he says he was told would take 10 to 20 days.
All of a sudden I find out I'm broke. I can't feed my family and I can't pay any expenses," said Nehorai.
Elad Nehorai, a writer with more than 43,000 Twitter followers, tweeted about his experience.
"It's another one of those situations where you just, How do you deal with this massive bank, this massive power that you have no control over?" said Nehorai.
His tweet has since gone viral.
"I was shocked to find out that this is actually relatively common," said Nehorai.
Last year, CBS News Chicago profiled a woman who had a similar experience, also with Bank of America.
Once we arrived to interview Nehorai outside the bank, he says the mood quickly changed and the bank decided to allow him to transfer all of his money into another account.
"So that's the part that hasn't been resolved. They literally will not give me any information," said Nehorai.
Banking expert J.D. Koontz says the reason banks shut down accounts is because the accounts have been flagged for suspicious behavior.
"And unfortunately, some good people are being caught in the net with the bad when they try to weed out who may be causing problems," said Koontz.
Banks are required to file Suspicious Activity Reports, or SARs, to regulators. In 2014, banks filed about 830,000 SARs. In 2021, that number jumped to more than 1.4 million.
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