Zombie Account Generates $400+ in Fees in Three Days


We support reforms to the financial marketplace that protect consumers from unscrupulous banks and lenders.

By Consumers Union on Monday, March 5th, 2012

By: Christina Tetreault

After closing his checking account at Fifth Third, a consumer in New York was dismayed to find not only had the bank re-opened his account when a post-closure transaction hit, but Taylor McKinley’s ex-bank hit him with a string of fees totaling $438.35, according to the Huffington Post.

The most shocking thing about this? Banks can – and obviously do –  re-open closed accounts. These involuntarily re-opened accounts are sometimes called zombie accounts by their consumer victims. For some banks, creating zombie accounts is their policy. For example, Bank of America reserves the right to re-open closed accounts, apparently indefinitely.

In Taylor’s case, it wasn’t bank policy, just a mistake. But that doesn’t mean it wasn’t a hassle. Taylor had to take time off work to resolve the dispute.

Has this happened to you? Consumers Union is tracking abusive banking practices and fees. Look for our monthly Bank Alert! And please tell us if you have  had a bad experience with moving your money by emailing money@consumersunion.org.

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