Their parents died, but Bank of America held onto their money

Pedestrians walk past a Bank of America branch in New York. Readers detail similar ordeals with the bank following the death of their parents. (Richard Drew / Associated Press)

To the editor: Thanks to David Lazarus for his column on Bank of America’s monthslong delay in transferring a deceased client’s money to his son. My experience four years ago with BofA was similar.

My dad died in September 2016 and my mom the following March. Afterward, I experienced a level of incompetence at BofA that had to be experienced to be believed. No single individual was in charge of my parents’ case, and the same paperwork had to be resubmitted multiple times.

Meanwhile, as the estate executor, I was still responsible for paying my parents’ bills. I concluded that the ultimate goal of BofA was to retain my parents’ money as long as possible simply because it could.

No one at BofA could ever tell me who was actually in charge of its Estate Services division. As a result, after I was finally able to close all of my deceased parents’ accounts and then all of my own BofA accounts, I finally wrote a letter to the chief executive, Brian Moynihan. In response, I was called by some assistant who promised to do better with future customers.

After reading Lazarus’ column, I see that nothing with BofA Estate Services has changed. With all the recent deaths from COVID-19, I am sure things may even be worse than when I was settling my parents’ estate.

Thanks again to Lazarus for standing up for us customers.

Nancy R. Insprucker, Manhattan Beach

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To the editor: I had the exact same thing happen to me at Bank of America when my mother died.

I was her designated “payable on death” person, and it took more than five months to get BofA to issue a check for the balance of her savings and checking accounts. This happened in 2020, and I accredited the problem to the pandemic.

I made multiple trips to branches, placed numerous phone calls and submitted all the required paper work, only to be told that something was missing or something was lost.

It seems that Lazarus is onto something.

Geraldine Field, Walnut Creek, Calif.

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To the editor: Thank you for featuring Lazarus and his citizen-informed columns in The Times.

It is shocking though not surprising to consider how consistently these morally bereft corporations act, until their immoral actions threaten their profitability, in which case their response is near immediate, albeit isolated to the visible issue.

Konrad Moore, San Diego

This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.