Bank of America is Bad For Your Mental Health

You are probably tired of reading about my BoA posts.  I am tired of writing them.   I am exhausting having spend countless hours trying to navigate their process. I am sick (I mean really SICK to my stomach) and tired of dealing with BoA.  If I have a mental breakdown it will NOT be because of my job (which is stressful) or because of family issues (like dealing with the deaths of 2 parents within a year while my teenage son finishes high school and goes on to college) it will be because of BoA and all the complications in dealing with my parents estates.  Let me be completely clear, BoA has done nothing LEGALLY wrong, but they have made this process difficult and challenging all during a time when they are well aware that customers are in a highly emotional state.

I've written numerous posts about my experiences with BoA; too many to put all the links here.  If you want to read through the complete mess, just search for Bank of America on this blog's main page and you'll get plenty of hits.  What I'd like to do here is give a "nutshell" (how apropos as they are driving me nuts) of what I have dealt with since July 24 and all the people I have dealt with either face to face (1), on the phone (3) or online (3).  I also want to be perfectly clear; although I am the executrix of both my parents' estates, I am in NO WAY an expert in this area.  Like I assume most people who are thrust into this situation, my knowledge is limited and I am relying on the "experts" at the financial institutions to guide me CORRECTLY and in a timely fashion so that I can execute the duties that I have been tasked with.  

My "journey" began on July 24th, when I met with Mr. Robinson at BoA's Brick, NJ branch.  I knew Mr. Robinson from when I had closed out my parents' safe deposit box. (I had the power of attorney to do so.) He seemed knowledgeable and diligent.  On the 24th I provided him with his death certificate, surrogate court short form (establishing me as the executrix) and even a copy of my father's will.  We filled out an L8 form (an affidavit for non-real estate investments) so that the accounts could be closed.  When I left, Mr. Robinson sent the information to corporate and I THOUGHT we were done.  I THOUGHT this would be resolved within 7-10 business days.

Wrong, I got a letter (snail mail) in early August asking for more information and to fill out a Letter of Instruction online. I did so and then waited, checking in regularly to see when the status of the review was updated.  I (stupidly) thought that since this had been under review since July 25th and that they needed this one extra it would not take much longer.  Wrong.  I kept checking and finally on 8/10 spoke to a representative on the phone.  (My error:  I didn't get her name) Even though this had been "under review" since 7/25, when she looked into it, she found that the account that I wanted to transfer the funds doesn't come up.  We figured out this was MY ERROR (I own it), as I had left out a digit.  But clearly no one else had looked at this.  Then she told me that the funds couldn't be transferred from his account to mine.  As executrix AND beneficiary, I'm not sure why, but...I opt for a check to be written to the estate.  And at that point I was assured BoA had all the information they needed to complete the process.

So, I'm good right?  WRONG. Yesterday I got a call from a Mr. Richard saying that they need an additional L8 form for the joint accounts my parents had (I had submitted these for my father but didn't know I needed to submit them for my mother too when HE died. No one told me, not even Mr. Robinson when I met back on 7/24.) Mr. Richard emailed me some instructions (I thought he was going to send me the L8 form), his email was full of errors.  He referred to my mother by MY last name in some places and the correct last name in others.  Does Mr. Richard know what he's talking about?  

I emailed him back AND left him a voice mail asking for his supervisor.  I was in full panic.  

Late yesterday afternoon, I got a call from Mr. Guse who is Mr. Richard's supervisor (he is supposedly Vice President/Operations Manager Estate Servicing Operations).  He explained exactly what they needed and gave me some information that I needed in order to fill out this last (?) L8 form.  Now (supposedly) all I have to do is fill it out, print it out, get it notarized (which means I have to find time during my workday to get to notary) and send it back to him and I SHOULD be done.  (How many times have I heard that?)  I'm also going to upload it to BoA's review site and PRAY that this is finally it.  That I can STOP focusing on BoA and focus on everything else in my life (work, family, friends) Is that too much to ask?

I don't know if it's ironic, sad or both, but BoA's platitude of "losing someone can be stressful, navigating their financial affairs doesn't have to be...we're here to help" is laughable.  They aren't helping me.  Or perhaps I should say they "help" partway, only to come back later and say you need to do more.  Shouldn't there be a point person in Estate Servicing who can guide you through your unique case?  (Because no one person's situation is going to fit a cookie cutter template.)  Is it too much to ask to get a correct and complete response from one person?  When it comes to BoA, I guess it is.

If this post seems a little erratic; I'm sorry.  I feel like I am on the edge of a cliff with BoA trying to push me over the edge.  And what's scary is I'm pretty sure that I'm not the only one who feels (or who has felt) this way when dealing with BoA Estate Services.  So my advice is, as it was last year when I was dealing with my mother's estate:  STAY away from BoA.  Your sanity will thank you.


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