What's up with Wells Fargo

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jfn111
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What's up with Wells Fargo

Post by jfn111 » Tue Jul 10, 2018 7:28 am

Several years ago I helped my son setup a Wells Account to put some excess cash in. My son has some disabilities so I help him with his accounts. We got a letter yesterday requiring us to verify the account or it will be considered abandoned. :shock:
The funny thing is we log into the account monthly to update our tracker.
Why wouldn't the log-in be looked at as account activity? I have him setup as a simple 3 fund portfolio so there has been no reason to make changes. Anyone else run into this?

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cheese_breath
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Re: What's up with Wells Fargo

Post by cheese_breath » Tue Jul 10, 2018 7:41 am

I suspect their definition of activity includes depositing or withdrawing money.

DW has two accounts in her own name which she hasn't been able to access since her stroke. So every 4 months or so I deposit a dollar in each one to keep them from being classified as abandoned.
The surest way to know the future is when it becomes the past.

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Pajamas
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Re: What's up with Wells Fargo

Post by Pajamas » Tue Jul 10, 2018 7:53 am

cheese_breath wrote:
Tue Jul 10, 2018 7:41 am
I suspect their definition of activity includes depositing or withdrawing money.
Might not even include automated deposits or withdrawals. Check with the bank to see what qualifies.

Note that the bank itself might not determine the rules; they might be due to regulation, instead.

btenny
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Re: What's up with Wells Fargo

Post by btenny » Tue Jul 10, 2018 9:33 am

My wife has a Roth account there that has not had a deposit or withdrawal for years. We check it regularly. No letter from Wells about that. But the stocks and bonds in the account do earn $$$$.

sport
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Re: What's up with Wells Fargo

Post by sport » Tue Jul 10, 2018 10:01 am

btenny wrote:
Tue Jul 10, 2018 9:33 am
My wife has a Roth account there that has not had a deposit or withdrawal for years. We check it regularly. No letter from Wells about that. But the stocks and bonds in the account do earn $$$$.
Yours is a brokerage account. If the OP has a bank account, the rules are different.

Glockenspiel
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Re: What's up with Wells Fargo

Post by Glockenspiel » Tue Jul 10, 2018 10:06 am

Short answer. They suck and you should do your business elsewhere.

mhalley
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Re: What's up with Wells Fargo

Post by mhalley » Tue Jul 10, 2018 10:09 am

Ditto. They are practically a criminal organization. This is a fine opportunity to move the account.

J295
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Re: What's up with Wells Fargo

Post by J295 » Tue Jul 10, 2018 10:11 am

Par for the course.

For larger organizations our choice has been Fidelity. Otherwise, a locally owned bank.

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cheese_breath
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Re: What's up with Wells Fargo

Post by cheese_breath » Tue Jul 10, 2018 10:53 am

mhalley wrote:
Tue Jul 10, 2018 10:09 am
Ditto. They are practically a criminal organization. This is a fine opportunity to move the account.
According to their commercials they just lost their way. Awww.
The surest way to know the future is when it becomes the past.

pkcrafter
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Re: What's up with Wells Fargo

Post by pkcrafter » Tue Jul 10, 2018 11:08 am

jfn111 wrote:
Tue Jul 10, 2018 7:28 am
Several years ago I helped my son setup a Wells Account to put some excess cash in. My son has some disabilities so I help him with his accounts. We got a letter yesterday requiring us to verify the account or it will be considered abandoned. :shock:
The funny thing is we log into the account monthly to update our tracker.
Why wouldn't the log-in be looked at as account activity? I have him setup as a simple 3 fund portfolio so there has been no reason to make changes. Anyone else run into this?
As to your current problem, be careful, it may be a phishing scam -- someone trying to gain access to your account.

As to Wells Fargo

https://www.google.com/search?q=Wells+F ... irefox-b-1


Paul
When times are good, investors tend to forget about risk and focus on opportunity. When times are bad, investors tend to forget about opportunity and focus on risk.

NotWhoYouThink
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Re: What's up with Wells Fargo

Post by NotWhoYouThink » Tue Jul 10, 2018 11:11 am

Or it could be a state law requiring banks to verify that the customers that set up the accounts are still around. Calling WF to ask would be a good way to find out.

Alan S.
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Re: What's up with Wells Fargo

Post by Alan S. » Tue Jul 10, 2018 11:17 am

I'd get right on this verification request and get written acknowledgement of same. There have been cases where accounts flagged for escheatment to the state are sent there sooner than expected or the letters indicate, and then you will encounter a hassle in some states to reclaim it. Fees might apply.

When dealing with an organization currently in dysfunctional mode as is Wells, the odds of this happening are greater. If you are going to transfer the account instead get on that right away, and if you want to play it safe verify the account anyway before the transfer.

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jfn111
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Re: What's up with Wells Fargo

Post by jfn111 » Tue Jul 10, 2018 12:01 pm

pkcrafter wrote:
Tue Jul 10, 2018 11:08 am
jfn111 wrote:
Tue Jul 10, 2018 7:28 am
Several years ago I helped my son setup a Wells Account to put some excess cash in. My son has some disabilities so I help him with his accounts. We got a letter yesterday requiring us to verify the account or it will be considered abandoned. :shock:
The funny thing is we log into the account monthly to update our tracker.
Why wouldn't the log-in be looked at as account activity? I have him setup as a simple 3 fund portfolio so there has been no reason to make changes. Anyone else run into this?
As to your current problem, be careful, it may be a phishing scam -- someone trying to gain access to your account.

As to Wells Fargo

https://www.google.com/search?q=Wells+F ... irefox-b-1


Paul
That's always my first thought too but the letter didn't ask for any account numbers.

JoeRetire
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Re: What's up with Wells Fargo

Post by JoeRetire » Tue Jul 10, 2018 12:04 pm

jfn111 wrote:
Tue Jul 10, 2018 7:28 am
We got a letter yesterday requiring us to verify the account or it will be considered abandoned.
They aren't requiring you to make any changes, are they?
How hard is it to "verify the account"?

After what Wells Fargo has done to their customers, I'd find a new place for my portfolio.

DVMResident
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Re: What's up with Wells Fargo

Post by DVMResident » Tue Jul 10, 2018 1:19 pm

Dumb question: what happens when an account is classified as abandoned?

sport
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Re: What's up with Wells Fargo

Post by sport » Tue Jul 10, 2018 3:10 pm

DVMResident wrote:
Tue Jul 10, 2018 1:19 pm
Dumb question: what happens when an account is classified as abandoned?
It is turned over to the state government. You would then have to apply to the unclaimed funds department of that state to reclaim your money without interest.

123
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Re: What's up with Wells Fargo

Post by 123 » Tue Jul 10, 2018 3:22 pm

The login to check the status of the account should be enough to keep it from being escheated, if Wells Fargo is smart enough to check for that, which they may not be. They may just be looking for a simplistic answer based on deposit or withdrawal activity or perhaps something connected with their retail bank teller system. Their escheatment system may not detect web inquiries. If you want to keep the account with Wells Fargo it might be good to withdraw a $1 and then deposit that same $1 back at the beginning of every calendar year.

Wells Fargo seems to be a brick and mortar bank where the bricks and mortar have seeped into the heads of the management team that runs it.
Last edited by 123 on Tue Jul 10, 2018 3:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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CaliJim
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Re: What's up with Wells Fargo

Post by CaliJim » Tue Jul 10, 2018 3:28 pm

I'm happy w/ WF.
Luckily, the scandals had no impact on me and I've always had excellent service. My kids got duped into opening unnecessary 3rd and 4th accounts once, but it was easily fixed, and no money lost.
Suggest you call their 800 number and ask, or maybe visit the branch office and ask. I've always found the staff members competent and helpful.
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mhalley
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Re: What's up with Wells Fargo

Post by mhalley » Tue Jul 10, 2018 7:21 pm

A financial institution successfully duped your children in an (unsuccessful) attempt to extort fees from them, and you still do business with them. :oops:

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CaliJim
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Re: What's up with Wells Fargo

Post by CaliJim » Tue Jul 10, 2018 8:12 pm

mhalley wrote:
Tue Jul 10, 2018 7:21 pm
...you still do business with them. :oops:
You are welcome to have hate for WF. be my guest. free country and all of that. but please be careful ... was that a personal attack? Hmm.

Anyway, as I said, I have always been treated with courtesy and found WF customer service to be very responsive. Once, years ago, when I was the subject of identity theft and check fraud, they refunded the whole amount stolen from my account immediately. I'm now a customer for life.

Back to OP's issue.... the thing to do is to call the bank, explain the situation, and ask them what you need to do to keep the account off the "abandoned" list. I'm almost positive they can do something for you. It may be as simple as associating (householding?) the brokerage account with another account that IS active.

Check it out and let us know what you find out!
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dratkinson
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Re: What's up with Wells Fargo

Post by dratkinson » Tue Jul 10, 2018 8:19 pm

Hope OP's 3-fund portfolio is cheap and not a WF special.



I'm assuming if there is activity in the account, then it is not an abandoned account.

I have a low-balance savings account at a local B&M CU just to have a local financial home and a place to walk in, deposit checks, and withdraw cash.

One year it charged me a small account inactivity fee when I hadn't done anything (deposits, withdrawals) with the account in a year. Asked what constituted "account activity" to avoid the fee? Turns out the embedded interest earned on a CD, of any length, counts as account activity. So opened a small CD and let it rollover at maturity. No problems since.

Funny thing, the interest earned on the savings account, and credited to the account quarterly, didn't count as account activity. Go figure.
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RetiredAL
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Re: What's up with Wells Fargo

Post by RetiredAL » Tue Jul 10, 2018 11:06 pm

IMO, the Big Ox ( WF ) is just being too stupid to get out of their own way.

They flagged my Dad's saving account with a similar notice 4 or 5 month's back even though he checks his accounts online weekly, passes $7,000 a month thru his checking account, $2000 a month thru his Visa Card, and has a large balance investment account with them. We were told, when we called, it was because there had not physically been any money movement in or out of that one account for 18 months, thus they, at least the computers were, concerned it might be an abandoned account. IMO, pretty stupid they couldn't group all accounts together and verify activity as a group. Online, they noted the account with RED "Inactive - Please contact us", but had no provision to do so online, so you had to call them.

I know both Schwab and Fidelity have figured those kinds of relationships out. I have one account at Fidelity that only has $100 in it, no activity several years, with no complaints about it.

kaneohe
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Re: What's up with Wells Fargo

Post by kaneohe » Tue Jul 10, 2018 11:17 pm

I had a similar notice on inactive checking account. A call to them caused them to remove the inactivity note but for good measure I also did a small deposit. Seems like , as others have said, they should focus on whether they know the owner is alive rather than whether the account is active. I access the safe deposit box quarterly but the accounts apparently are not linked.

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jfn111
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Re: What's up with Wells Fargo

Post by jfn111 » Wed Jul 11, 2018 7:31 am

It all seems kind of crazy. My son has a WF credit card, checking and savings accounts with direct deposit from his work and 2 C/D's but they think his Brokerage account is abandoned. WTH? :oops:

stan1
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Re: What's up with Wells Fargo

Post by stan1 » Wed Jul 11, 2018 7:46 am

There are state laws on handling of inactive and dormant accounts. These laws can apply to checking, savings, and brokerage accounts together or separately. Interest earned is not activity nor is logging into a website. The details of the laws vary by state.

NotWhoYouThink
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Re: What's up with Wells Fargo

Post by NotWhoYouThink » Wed Jul 11, 2018 7:50 am

Maybe in their new dedication toward compliance with state regulation they are enforcing existing rules that they used to ignore.

Turbo29
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Re: What's up with Wells Fargo

Post by Turbo29 » Wed Jul 11, 2018 7:58 am

Have checking and savings account at Etrade. Use the checking all the time but just let emergency money sit in the savings. Every time I would log on to check my brokerage accounts (taxable, t-ira, Roth) I would also click on the bank accounts and look at them. Still got a warning that the savings would go dormant because I hadn't used it in a year.

So now, twice a year or so, I online transfer of $5 from checking to savings and then transfer it back. That keeps them satisfied.

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teen persuasion
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Re: What's up with Wells Fargo

Post by teen persuasion » Wed Jul 11, 2018 8:34 am

Pajamas wrote:
Tue Jul 10, 2018 7:53 am
cheese_breath wrote:
Tue Jul 10, 2018 7:41 am
I suspect their definition of activity includes depositing or withdrawing money.
Might not even include automated deposits or withdrawals. Check with the bank to see what qualifies.

Note that the bank itself might not determine the rules; they might be due to regulation, instead.
Exactly!

We got a similar notice for our HSA account (not WF) last year. DH has a payroll deduction deposited into it biweekly, but we have not made any withdrawals. Auto deposits, we were told, don't count as activity.

We had to send in a form snail mail to verify the account was still active.

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