Society

Couple Sues Chase Bank After Savings Account Disappears

| by Karin Sun
A Chase bank in Rye, New YorkA Chase bank in Rye, New York

A Long Island couple is suing J.P. Morgan Chase Bank after the institution reportedly failed to keep tabs on the couple's $25,000 savings account.

Anna and Salvatore Russo of Long Island, New York, opened the account in 2002 and deposited $30,000, according to CBS. The couple, who initially kept track of the account through their signature card and paper withdrawal and deposit statements, only made one withdrawal of $5,000 after the initial deposit.

They then left the money in the account for a number of years without checking on it.

When they tried to withdraw their funds in 2014, bank officials told them they no longer had any record of the account.

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"They lost it," Salvatore told PIX 11. "They don't know what happened to it – and they can't explain it. And they feel they don't have any obligation even though we have a book. I don't see any right in that."

The Russos are now suing Chase bank in order to recover their lost savings.

Their attorney, Keith Mollins, said the bank never informed them this could happen.

“They made the deposit," Mollins told WPIX. "They told the bank they were putting it in there long term. Nobody ever told them to come back and check on it in a year or two."

"And now that money is missing. All my clients want back is their money. They’re not looking for punitive damages."

Chase bank only retains customer records for seven years after the last activity on an account. The last record of the Russos' account would have been made in 2009, seven years after they opened it. 

"We don't retain records for more than seven years and the customers have not been able to provide any documentation that proves their claims," Chase bank spokesman Eric Timmerman said in a written statement, according to CBS. "We are continuing to look into this to try and find more information."

The bank also said that, if an account had no activity for five years, a letter should have been sent to the owners of the account to inform them that the account will be closed and any unclaimed funds transferred to the state. However, the Russos said they did not receive any letters, and the state of New York also has no record indicating that it was ever given the $25,000 from the couple's account.

The Russos, who are in their mid-80s, said the money they deposited was intended as a long-term investment for their children.

"I'd rather give [the money] to them than to the bank," Salvatore told CBS.

Sources: CBS, WPIX / Photo credit: Juliameslener/Wikimedia Commons

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