Author Topic: Dealing with bank Auto-debit  (Read 762 times)

BlueHouse

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Dealing with bank Auto-debit
« on: January 08, 2020, 09:41:21 AM »
I've now taken over all financials for my mother and I'm trying to clean up and close out her current checking account to move it to another bank.  She has memory issues and has not been good at keeping records and has tended to trust just about everyone on the face of the earth.  So she's given her checking account information to utility companies, charitable organizations, and god knows who else. 

Is there any way to know all the companies that she has authorized for auto-debit so that I can contact each one individually to make sure they stop debiting the account?  As a failsafe, I'll also close the account, but that will take a few months to transfer over and I don't want to risk any insufficient funds notices.



As a general comment, anyone who allows auto-debit directly from their bank account is a dumb-ass.  Feel free to attack me for my position, because I will not be changing it anytime soon.   

Blue Skies

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Re: Dealing with bank Auto-debit
« Reply #1 on: January 08, 2020, 09:49:05 AM »
If you go through the statements from the last 6 months you could find all the payments that were made.  Most should be monthly, but a few might be quarterly or semi-annually.  Other than that, I doubt there is any record anywhere of who she may have given the account information to.

BlueHouse

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Re: Dealing with bank Auto-debit
« Reply #2 on: January 08, 2020, 10:00:04 AM »
I'm searching statements, but for a host of reasons, only 3 months are available without going in person.  She does have some quarterly and semi-annual payments, and now I'm searching for any annuals. 

The withdrawal lines on the statements are pretty cryptic most of the time.  I've become Sherlock Holmes in my spare time -- Trying to figure out who the payees are, what the payment is for, contact info for them, etc.

In addition, when you give your account info to 3rd parties, there's no reason for them to track anything about you (name, username, password, customer ID) other than your bank number and the donation amount.  It's incredibly frustrating!


Sibley

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Re: Dealing with bank Auto-debit
« Reply #3 on: January 08, 2020, 06:22:15 PM »
I suspect that closing the account is the easiest option. It's possible that the bank could do a freeze or something, but you'd have to talk to them.

BlueHouse

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Re: Dealing with bank Auto-debit
« Reply #4 on: January 09, 2020, 07:17:27 AM »
I suspect that closing the account is the easiest option. It's possible that the bank could do a freeze or something, but you'd have to talk to them.

I think I've found most of the authorized accounts, and I will close it in a few months (waiting for SS to change the DD account, which apparently takes 2-3 months!). 

I know she'll still be responsible for payments if she's in contract with anyone, but what about charitable contributions, etc?  Can they charge an overdraft if she has authorized them to take recurring payments and then closes the account without contacting them?  I really wish I had been more involved in her finances earlier before the memory and decision making became such a problem. 

Sibley

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Re: Dealing with bank Auto-debit
« Reply #5 on: January 09, 2020, 08:25:57 AM »
I suspect that closing the account is the easiest option. It's possible that the bank could do a freeze or something, but you'd have to talk to them.

I think I've found most of the authorized accounts, and I will close it in a few months (waiting for SS to change the DD account, which apparently takes 2-3 months!). 

I know she'll still be responsible for payments if she's in contract with anyone, but what about charitable contributions, etc?  Can they charge an overdraft if she has authorized them to take recurring payments and then closes the account without contacting them?  I really wish I had been more involved in her finances earlier before the memory and decision making became such a problem.

That's where talking to the bank is a good idea. Call or go into a branch and talk to them. For business accounts positive pay is basically default, so I suspect there may be something they can do on the personal accounts. Make sure you have appropriate POA however, which for banks is a huge PITA. If nothing else, once you're sure you've got all the outflows switched out, maybe they can deny all pulls?

But you hopefully would see anything else anyway. Monthly, quarterly, and annually are most common schedules. You've got the year end period, you'll have at least a full quarter, and however many months to review. I think that would cover the majority of possibilities.

BlueHouse

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Re: Dealing with bank Auto-debit
« Reply #6 on: January 09, 2020, 09:35:46 AM »
Good advice!  Thank you!