Man Says If Only His Bank Warned Him Not to Withdraw His Money One Day Early, He Would Have Saved a $16,500 Penalty

To be candid, I didn't have a lot of faith that BBVA Compass Bank would help the man from Ovilla. He told me a banking mistake cost him $16,500.The Watchdog's past experiences with Compass were troubling. A decade ago, before the bank's previous owners drove the bank into failure and new owners from Spain took over, the bank didn't have much of a heart.I didn't believe I could be of much help to Philip Ham, who told me how he cashed in two certificates of deposit only one day before their actual maturity date - a move that cost him a whopping $16,500 early withdrawal tax penalty.If only he'd waited another day, there'd be no penalty. But he says the bank employee didn't tell him he was a day early; and he didn't realize it either. That's one horrific mistake.Ham told me his story. A bank official told me the bank's side of the story. (The bank says it warned him. Ham and his wife say they didn't.) I had a gut instinct about who was telling the truth, but I couldn't prove it.Originally, this was to be a story about how we often can't count on anyone to protect us, not even our bankers. (Don't laugh. Banks once upon a time gave you a free toaster and treated you like family.) But then this story changed. Something amazing happened.  Continue reading...

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