Report: #719275


  • Submitted: Tue, April 19, 2011
  • Updated: Sun, November 13, 2011
  • Reported By: RENEA — DULUTH Georgia United States of America
    DULUTH, Georgia
    United States of America
  • Phone: 770-935-5100
  • Web:
  • Category: Banks


*Consumer Comment: Instead of there being "more to the story" - it seems that there's "too much to this story" for it to make sense....

*General Comment: Update

*General Comment: Some insight from the bank's side...

*Consumer Comment: Comments

*Consumer Comment: a few questions

Show customers why they should trust your business over your competitors...

I opened a new account with Suntrust a few weeks ago in order to have my tax refund direct deposited into it. The actual refund was for my fiancee' /common law husband (we had been together for about 16 years. I live in Georgia). We have an 11 year old son. My fiancee' passed away last September unexpectedly. He said goodnight, went to bed and never woke up the next morning. He was only 37 and never sick at all. He had always been very healthy. Anyway, He had no will. Georgia law states that all money or property of his goes to his son. I did his taxes through Turbo Tax and filed the proper paperwork with them for the IRS concerning his death and my filing and receiving his tax refund, which all approved (both the Turbo Tax specialists and The IRS).

The money was direct deposited into the account on April 1st. I was told by a bank rep that same day, on the phone, that I could use my Suntrust card that day for the entire amount, should I want to purchase anything, pay bills, etc. She told me there was no problem with my using the funds immediately. I chose to wait until Saturday to withdraw money because I needed to pay my rent which was past due. The sheriff had already served me eviction papers. It's been really hard since my fiancee' died. It was unplanned and my son and I were left with less than $10.00 to our names. I have worked and struggled and we've gotten through but never ahead. I knew this tax refund would get us out of the little debt we had and actually put us ahead so that we could stay ahead from here on out.

Unfortunately, the asst. manager of the Suntrust Bank at the Publix (her last name is Skeeter or something very similar) I chose to visit decided that I couldn't have the money and put a legal hold on it. Over the next 5 days, she has had me running up to her branch 2 to 3 times each day, and waiting in front of her counter at least for more than a total of 12 hours, has sent me to our county courthouse twice and had me personally bring to her many documents to prove that my fiancee' is dead and that our son belongs to him and more. She knew we were being evicted this Thursday and that I had to have the money by Tuesday night to avoid an additional $200.00 charge on top o the $2044.00 I already owed for rent. She kept dragging her feet and literally lying and making up excuses. I ended up speaking with Suntrust's legal team many times during this period.

I told them the Ga. law she was violating and discussed everything else with them about my situation too. They told her to release the money to me on Tuesday. She kept telling me she was waiting on a piece of paper from them first. They told me there was no paper and that she was making that up. They talked to her several times and told her to give me the money but she wouldn't. She told me that the money wasn't mine and that it belonged to my son. She refused to give it to him. She wanted me to prove that I was his guardian even though she had the birth certificate and the genetics test and all. The court said there was no such thing and that she was in violation of Ga. Code 29-3-1 which states that money, property, etc. with a value of $15, 000.00 or less (The tax refund was for a bit over five thousand dollars) belonging to A Deceased person must be turned over immediately to the legal heir...which is my son, Taylor, the deceased's only child.

The only proof any person or establishment is allowed to ask for is proof that the heir is the child of the deceased which I provided to the asst. manager in the means of a Georgia State Genetics Test. This Georgia Code states that any person refusing to turn over the money or property is in violation of the law and can be prosecuted. I showed her the actual code printed out to her from the courthouse and she just laughed at it and told me she still wasn't going to do it. I told her that I would prosecute her and she grinned, saying, "Go the cops if you want to, you're not getting that money". Finally, after a load of paperwork being provided to her, the legal dept. in Florida telling her she legally had to release that money to me, and my visit to another Suntrust Bank for help (in which they investigated and said there was no legal reason for her to hold the money), she called me and my son into her office where she told me again that she and the main lawyer in Florida decided that the money did belong to my son but that she has decided not to give it to us because it's not my money just to go out and blow.

I told her that she was causing us to get evicted from our apt. the following day and she laughed and said, "yes, i told our lawyer that and he says he knows it and that it's unfortunate but that it's TOO BAD." These were her exact words. I told her that I wanted the money sent back to the IRS then so I could just wait for a check and she told me "no" and (these are her exact words) "this money isn't going anywhere. It's gonna stay right here in my bank until I decide what to do with it". I told her she couldn't do that and she pretty much threw us out as she giggled. I'm not joking at all. She literally giggled at us. My son was devastated and I was humiliated. When i got home, I again called the lady who had been helping me on the phone and she said all that was a lie...that their lawyer never said anything like that and that the asst. manager had not even talked to the legal dept. that day as she said she had.

They were truly fed up with her and I'm sure you can check this all out with them should you choose to do so. Anyway, after waiting all this time, doing everything the asst. manager asked of me and more, the manager of the same branch told me to wait for a phone call that day in which the money would probably be released. The legal dept. told me that the phone call would consist of her telling me the money had been released and I could come and withdraw it. The lady there said that they actually wanted the asst. manager to have to call and tell me that after all the trouble she had put me through. So, I waited all day long. I'm talking all day. I did call a few times and each time I was told by the branch that the asst. manager couldn't come to the phone but that she said for me to wait by my phone for her call.

Finally, at about 6:30, just before that branch was to close, she called me. I was so excited when I got the call. I answered and she told me who she was and all and said, "ok, about your money, I just wanted to let you know that you're not getting a penny of it". i was totally shocked. I actually burst out crying. I told her that I was told that she was to release it. She said she knew all that but that no one was making her do anything and she wasn't giving it to me. She said "all you white people think you can get whatever you want in this world, but I'm going to show you that you can't here at Suntrust". She then hung up on me. Needless to say, I have never seen a penny of the money and when I tried to check on it today, The IRS says they haven't heard anything about it and the people at the 24 hour bank line told me that they had no idea what happened to it and that my account had been closed. I didn't close it and I can't believe that she would have the nerve to close my account on her own and for no reason.

My dad has had an account with Suntrust bank for more than 30 years. He has never had a bounced check or a negative balance and is in very good standing with them. He even offered to come up and sign anything he could to guarantee the money and the transaction himself and this asst. manager laughed at him also and said that "that's not going to help her either. I'm not giving her the money". He told her he was thinking about closing his account because of this and she smirked at him and said, "well, we have lots of other accounts, I'm sure your's closing won't even be noticed, Mr. Williams". How is that to treat a faithful and loyal 30+ year customer?...WOW!!...I was never rude to this woman. I never caused trouble at the bank or even let anyone know what was going on during all the time I was going through this. All the times she had me and my son standing there waiting, I never let on to any of the other customers that I was unhappy or having any type of problem. She had no right to treat me the way she did and certainly no right to talk to me the way she chose to either.

Can you believe that on the second day of all of this that she called me on the telephone at my home. I was so excited when my son told me who it was. I thought she was going to tell me that the money had been released. I picked up the phone (all happy and such) and She actually started yelling at me (just like a parent would yell at a child who was being very bad) saying " YOU BETTER NOT CALL THE 1-800 NUMBER AGAIN FOR HELP AND YOU BETTER NOT TRY TO CONTACT THE LEGAL DEPARTMENT AGAIN EITHER". Now, does she have the right to call a customer at home and literally scream at them and then hang up on them. I want you to know that I am just so upset by all this that I don't know what to do. I can't get over it. She ruined our lives and knowingly did so by her own choice. I have emailed James Wells, the President of Suntrust Bank about this but haven't received a reply yet. She just can't get away with this.
Is this Ripoff Report About you?
Ripoff Report A business' first line of defense on the Internet.
If your business is willing to make a commitment to customer satisfaction Click here now..

Does your business have a bad reputation? Fix it the right way. Corporate Advocacy Program™

Set the record straight: Arbitration Program

SEO Reputation Management at its best!

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 04/19/2011 12:47 AM and is a permanent record located here: The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year. Ripoff Report has an exclusive license to this report. It may not be copied without the written permission of Ripoff Report. READ: Foreign websites steal our content

Search for additional reports

If you would like to see more Rip-off Reports on this company/individual, search here:

Report & Rebuttal
Respond to this report!
Also a victim?
Repair Your Reputation!

Updates & Rebuttals


#1 Consumer Comment

Instead of there being "more to the story" - it seems that there's "too much to this story" for it to make sense....

AUTHOR: commoncents2000 - (United States of America)

This started out having my sympathies - and if that part of the story is true - my sympathies remain - especially for the innocent son.

However, this story seems wildly exagerrated at many times when explaining the banker's reactions.  Being in the banking industry for over 22 years (at one of the larger banks - not SunTrust) - neither an assistant branch manager - nor a branch manager - has the power to make their own final decision on who can "legally" access funds.  They can place a hold on "suspicious" funds or anything that could possibly be charged back for a wide variety of reasons.  However the reports from previous consumers are absolutely correct - any deposit coming into an acct that is not payable to an owner on the acct is not considered "owned" funds by the acct holder.  If the legal department approved the release of the funds - the asst manager/manager should release the hold.  They do have the authority to close any banking relationship for any reason.

There does also seem to be more that you haven't told as well.  It seems there were financial issues to begin with if rent was behind and your landlord was not willing to extend relief on your payment deadline due to your situation.  I'm sorry for this to happen to ANYONE - but this is at the part where your complaint seems to become juvenile in the explanation.......

I cannot and do not believe that an assistant manager continually "laughed", "grinned" and "literally giggled" at you when discussing whether she could release the funds to you.  I can see that you may have been extremely frustrated and probably (and maybe even understandably) difficult to work with.  However - it still seems obvious your claim went overboard with the accusations.  The bank would be required to research and obtain legal documents and it could take a while.  That is very unfortunate for someone who may be in the position you say you were in - but to claim that a racist statement was made as well?  C'mon........

I'm not saying racism on all behalfs does not exist - even blatant racism, unfortunately.  But accusing a banking manager of saying "all you white people think.... blah blah blah" has continued to lose your credibility.  Which is sad - because I do believe that you thought you had access to the funds.  I do believe that you went to w/d the funds and were shocked, outraged and panicked when you were told you could not access them.  I also believe it's possible that the assistant manager may have been a little rude, distant and unknowledgeable on how to handle the situation.  I believe that she may have not followed up consistently and avoided your phone calls.  That is what the story should have focused on - LACK of service - not accusations that will make for a more dramatic storyline.

This may make friends and family "oooh" and "ahhhh" but to most others it's a pathetic attempt to make a sad story more dramatic. 

For your future - I hope your boy continues to get the guidance and education he deserves.  This will only benefit you in the future as well.  The less drama this young man has in his life from here on - the better. 
Respond to this report!

#2 General Comment


AUTHOR: brownsong - (USA)

I read this with interest and was wondering if you could update. First, I would like to say to the the others, that it does say in the OP post that she and her boyfriend (I can't say fiancee, because it was obvious that after 16 years, their was no intention to marry) had a son together.

Also, getting married would have avoided all these problems. People think that marriage is just a pieve of paper, but it is much more. It protects the surviving spouse from horrors like this. If you were married, everything that was his would have become yours, even without a will.

I am sorry you had to go through this, but not having a will and not getting married made things mych worse for you than they had to be. I don't believe that being a common law husband has any real bearing. You have to really be married. He was not your husband or your fiancee, he was just your baby daddy. I truly hope you learned from this and good luck to you in the future.
Respond to this report!

#3 General Comment

Some insight from the bank's side...

AUTHOR: Striderq - (U.S.A.)

I've not worked at Suntrust but I have worked as customer service for a large bank. Here's what I see from your report.

Direct deposits ar for the individual named on them, in this case your fiance. Since his name is not on the account, there's bank specific policies that have to be followed to try to allow the deposit to be available into the account.You say Georgia laws states the return should go to the son. Was his name on the account or just yours? If the law allows your son to get the money, again there's a problem since the account is in your name.

As another poster asked: Have you been appointed executor of your fiance's estate? This is done by the court and it seems that this document could eliminate all the problem and allow you access to the money.

I understand the situation that you're facing but the bank has to protect itself by getting the required documents to allow you to access the money. This covers them in case someone else were to come forward and claim that they should be the beneficiary of the state.

It may seem that the manger is throwing roadblocks in your path to be vindictive but I don't think she would jeapordize her career to do this. I hope this works out for you. And my condolences for your and your son's loss.

Respond to this report!

#4 Consumer Comment


AUTHOR: Robert - (U.S.A.)

Having a return "Accepted" means nothing more than there were no obivous errors on the return.  It has nothing to do with the Direct Deposit.

From what you wrote here you opened up an account to deposit your deceased (common law) husbands tax refund.  But not for you for your son(that you had together?).  Since the IRS only allows funds to be direct deposited into their account only.  So it sounds like you probably raised some "red flags".

Are you the executor of the estate?  If not why didn't the executor take care of this?

Now, I seriously doubt that a single employee at a branch has some personal vendetta against you that they would risk they job by not following the instructions of their legal department.  If the legal department wanted the money released they would get it done.  They would also fire the employee because they don't want to be held liable. 

So there is probably a lot more to this story(if it is even true) than what you are not saying here. 
Respond to this report!

#5 Consumer Comment

a few questions

AUTHOR: Ashley - (U.S.A.)

Are you the child's biological mother? You don't mention if you are anywhere in your story. Additionally, from reading a little on.georgia law, has the court designated you the conservator of the minor? It looks as if the court needs to designate you conservator and not just gaurdian in order to receive funds. Otherwise, from what I am reading, the fund need to be held in trust until the minor is 18. Also, have you gone to court requesting an affidavit to release the funds owed? Have you talked to a judge at all about his estate?
Respond to this report!
Ripoff Report Recommends
ZipBooks Accounting Software

Advertisers above have met our
strict standards for business conduct.