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How to Close a Bank Account - Closing Letters & More

Updated on November 13, 2012
Grr.
Grr. | Source

Beware! Shady New BOA Program

Click to read a warning about Bank of America's new Mortgage to Lease program. Reviewer D. Potter writes, "Rolled out last week with splashy headlines, the program is structured to assist its mortgage customers that are in current default on their loans. Sounds well-intentioned, right? (Not!) When you read the fine print, its got more holes than a piece of rotting Swiss cheese."

Break Up with Your Bank

Is it time to dump your bank? Maybe your bank is too needy, demanding too many fees. Or maybe you truly like your bank but you’re marrying or moving. In any case, you’ll probably find that closing your checking account isn’t as simple as opening it. This article gives steps to ease the hassle.

1. Know Your Reputation

Do you know your reputation as a consumer? If you have a bad reputation, consider keeping your account open despite the bank’s nonsense. If you’ve had many overdrafts, unsatisfied balances or other “banking irregularities,” then you might be unable to open a new checking account. You might as well stick with the sucky bank until your reputation improves.

What's the issue? When a checking account becomes delinquent, a bank can report you to ChexSystems. Although the name is reminiscent of Chex Mix, this system isn’t a party. ChexSystems keeps records of “naughty” consumer behavior for five years. ChexSystems records can make it almost impossible to open a new account.

You can learn whether ChexSystems has you in their system. Once a year, you can get a free ChexSystems report by visiting https://www.consumerdebit.com/consumerinfo/us/en/chexsystems/report/index.htm.

How to Annoy Your Bank: Use Those Prepaid Envelopes

Use your bank's junk mail. Don't just throw it away! Remember, enclosed with each insulting credit card offer with unjust terms, Bank of America & their friends enclose little prepaid envelopes!

I wonder if the more the postage-paid envelope weighs, the more the bank must pay to receive it?

2. Open a New Account if Desired

If you've established that you are indeed "worthy," open a new account at a bank or credit union. Switch any automatic deposits and debits to your new account.

I recommend credit unions over banks. Unlike banks, credit unions are non-for-profit institutions. You can find a credit union in your area through the National Credit Union Administration website.

3. Close Your Old Bank Account

Congratulations! It's time to close your old account. You can visit the bank or write a letter. As described in a linked article below, some accounts can be closed online.

How to Close a Personal Account (Not a Joint Account)

To close a personal account, you can visit a local bank branch or write an account close letter. Account holders who pop into the bank can obtain their remaining funds immediately. People who mail letters can expect a check and a letter confirming account closure.

If you have questions about closing a Bank of America or BOA account, visit your local bank or call 1-800-622-8731. (Be prepared for a sales pitch. Stay strong!)

How To Close a Joint Account

Can you close a joint account on your own? Sometimes.

Joint bank accounts link names with “AND” or “OR" (e.g., “Joan and John Hardin"). People with “AND” accounts need to close their account with the other person. People with “OR” accounts can proceed on their own. Write a letter, visit your bank or close your account online.

What to Include in a Bank Letter

Your personal or joint letter should include: your name, an address for receiving your balance, and your bank account number. You can also include a phone number.

4. End the Madness – Shred Your Checks

Start the destruction! Mark the end of your stressful banking relationship by shredding your checks and cutting up your debit card. This will help ensure that you – or anybody else – doesn’t try to use the account.

5. Keep Your Records

Your bank will mail a letter confirming your account closure. File that letter away for a few years. Also, keep an eye on your credit report to ensure that all is well.

Bank Phone Numbers

These bank phone numbers can help you close an account.

  • Bank of America 1-800-622-8731
  • Citibank 1-800-627-3999
  • JP Morgan Chase 1-800-935-9935
  • US Bank 1-800-872-2657
  • Wells Fargo 1-800-869-3557

Comments

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    • SantaCruz profile imageAUTHOR

      SantaCruz 

      6 years ago from Santa Cruz, CA

      Thanks for the feedback! Usefulness is my goal. Best wishes cutting your bank ties :-).

    • MarloByDesign profile image

      MarloByDesign 

      6 years ago from United States

      Thank you for sharing tips on writing a letter to close a bank account - as I did not know that. I thought you can only close an account in person. Thank you. Voted USEFUL.

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