Bank blocked my account and took my UIF money. Any advice?

kinghemp

Member
Joined
Jan 17, 2011
Messages
15
Hi All,

This is my first post here so I hope that I'm in the right section etc...

This is the short version of the incident:

I have been battling with getting my UIF paid out since November 2015. They eventually processed my payment, yay! Or so I thought...

On Friday the 29th of April I logged into uFiling to check my payout status it read "Sent to Paymaster". This means that the payment was approved and would be actioned within a day or two. Cool. I logged into my internet banking on Saturday the 30th to check balances etc so that I could organise my budget. On Monday the 2nd at about 20:00 I logged into uFiling again and the status had changed to "Payment - Done". Lekka, the money would be in in a day or two.

I tried to login to my internet banking the next morning(Tuesday the 3rd) and it kept saying profile mismatch. Tried on a couple different browsers and tried the mobile app. They all said the same thing. I phoned the bank's call centre and, as usual, put me through to the wrong department a few times. Getting fed up with this I decided to go into the branch and see what was cooking. When I eventually got to a teller he said that my account was blocked and that I needed to contact the legal department.

I duely contacted the legal department and they informed me that my account had become dormant due to inactivity. Which, at the time made sense. I then told them that my UIF was coming in imminently and requested that they unblock it. They refused. I told them that this was my UIF money and that I need it to move to the Cape to start my new job. Being unsure of the amount that UIF would pay out, the agent assured me that we could come to an arrangement once the money was in.

The money came in on the Wednesday morning at 02:00 according to the SMS received. It was a rather large sum of R18000 odd due to UIF back-paying since November. Two things to note is that I have an overdraft facility(R8900) and the account was a few hundred rand overdrawn(their fees, interest etc, not transactions by me). So what the bank did was take ~R9500 from my UIF payout(settling the overdraft and fees), leaving me with the balance which I could not access due to my account being blocked. I eventually managed to withdraw the "available" funds in cash. After hours on the phone arguing, begging and pleading with legal, explaining that it was UIF money and that I desperately needed it: They still point-blank refused to refund any money and/or reactivate my account.

I thought that I had lost the battle but... In the early hours of the morning of Sunday the 8th of May I had a thought. Let me review the T's&C's of my account. It clearly said that the dormancy period on the account was 180 calendar days. I started counting the days. Halfway through this process I came accross a stamped, original bank statement from the 11th of January showing a cash deposit on the 7th of January. I then remembered selling my computer monitor in the JunkMail and depositing the money.

I logged a complaint with the bank detailing the deposit and other transactions following the deposit and informed them that there is no way that my account has been inactive for 6 months. I am still awaiting feedback. The fact that it has taken this long troubles me: I am assuming that they are gathering other excuses and/or "ammunition" to use against me. ie. Finding a reason, other than the one they initially told me, to justify blocking my account and taking my UIF money. I hope I'm wrong but I'm bracing myself for the worst.

Final Notes:

1.) The timing seems far too convenient to be a coincedence - the fact that my account was blocked at exactly the same time that my UIF payment was processed.
2.) The reason that they gave me for blocking the account doesn't add up.
3.) Even if they manage to justify their actions: These actions are inhumane, morally reprehensible and down-right despicable. How low do you have to be to take an unemployed person's only income?

In conclusion, I would appreciate any advice or answers to the below questions:

1.) If they do manage to worm their way out of this by citing a different reason for blocking my account, what are my rights, having being grossly mislead initially?
2.) Is it legal to just block my account and take my money without prior notice(I read in the T's&C's that I should have been informed, in writing, at least 10 business days prior to blocking my account)? Surely there must be a collection process? They could, I suppose, hand me over to attourneys and "blacklist" me on ITC but taking more than half of my UIF money without my permission? Huh?

Thanking you in advance...
 

Necropolis

Executive Member
Joined
Feb 26, 2007
Messages
8,401
How much was your account in the Red for?

It's perfectly normal for any money going into the account to cancel out the overdraft first.

Post on twitter/FB/Hello peter - FNB have a pretty good social media team who should be able to help you get to the bottom of why your account was locked.
 

Pox

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Sep 13, 2005
Messages
3,529
I use nedbank and have a savings account I don't really use which was declared dormant even tho I had moved money into the account. They said transferring money into the account didn't count as activity.

Which is retarded, but that's what they said.
 

Pox

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Sep 13, 2005
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The fact that it's UIF money MO means nothing I am afraid. A deposit is a deposit, and if you are overdrawn then the deposit will go against that first.
Legally you owed the bank that money, so your point 2) is perfectly legal.
 

Sinbad

Honorary Master
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Jun 5, 2006
Messages
68,643
If you are over your limit and not putting money into the account the bank is perfectly entitled to withdraw the overdraft facility at any time. Check the terms and conditions. Any money you put in then goes to settling your debt.
 

Beachless

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Oct 6, 2010
Messages
6,003
Surely you can just close the account and they have to pay you out any monies left in the account?

The fact that you owed them money and they took it form the UIF money is unfortunately just life. You should have tried to make arangements with the bank and possibly gone into debt review to protect yourself from all these fees. Hopefully it all works out and you can restart your life with the new job, all the best.
 

Grant

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Mar 27, 2007
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I use nedbank and have a savings account I don't really use which was declared dormant even tho I had moved money into the account. They said transferring money into the account didn't count as activity.
it's at that point you ask if the transaction incurred any form of service charge, because if it is not classed as activity, they can obviously not charge you a service fee - and then you savor every moment of the awkward response
 

ɹǝuuᴉM

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Dec 6, 2015
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Let me understand this right:
Money paid in by UIF ____ : 18.000-00 Rand
Outstanding overdraft ____ : 8.900-00 Rand
Outstanding fees and late
payment penalties _______ : 600-00 Rand
You received ____________ : 8.500-00 Rand

The bank helped you out and reopened the unused account.
What money exactly do you want from them?
 
Last edited:

Kosmik

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Sep 21, 2007
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20,032
Let me understand this right:
Money paid in by UIF ____ : 18.000-00 Rand
Outstanding overdraft ____ : 8.900-00 Rand
Outstanding fees and late
payment penalties _______ : 600-00 Rand
You received ____________ : 8.500-00 Rand

The bank helped you out and reopened the unused account.
What money exactly do you want from them?
Sounds like the debt should just magically disappear.
 

kinghemp

Member
Joined
Jan 17, 2011
Messages
15
Hi,

That's exactly what they wanted me to do. In terms of making arrangements: I had no idea that they would do this, they caught me quite by surprise. Why didn't they close the account long ago and hand me over for collection? On that note, what gives them the right to settle the account like this? On the contract it stipulates a monthly payment term, not a full settlement at the bank's will. I find it quite underhanded and devious that they were willing to leave the account alone until they could "rob" me one shot. In terms of debt review or sequestration etc: you have to be employed, bottom line. There is no provision in this country for people who are actually bankrupt, I coin the phrase "Too poor to be bankrupt"...
 

Sinbad

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There is always an immediate termination at bank discretion clause.
 

ToxicBunny

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Hi,

That's exactly what they wanted me to do. In terms of making arrangements: I had no idea that they would do this, they caught me quite by surprise. Why didn't they close the account long ago and hand me over for collection? On that note, what gives them the right to settle the account like this? On the contract it stipulates a monthly payment term, not a full settlement at the bank's will. I find it quite underhanded and devious that they were willing to leave the account alone until they could "rob" me one shot. In terms of debt review or sequestration etc: you have to be employed, bottom line. There is no provision in this country for people who are actually bankrupt, I coin the phrase "Too poor to be bankrupt"...
Contract would have a clause for immediate termination, and since you were late on payments for the overdraft it would have been flagged for that...

They didn't rob you, they weren't devious. You had shown to be an irregular payer and the minute your account had enough money they settled the overdraft.
 

kinghemp

Member
Joined
Jan 17, 2011
Messages
15
The fact that it's UIF money MO means nothing I am afraid. A deposit is a deposit, and if you are overdrawn then the deposit will go against that first.
Legally you owed the bank that money, so your point 2) is perfectly legal.
I've read the T's & C's a couple more times an I find no such provision at all. It does say that they can cancel the credit facility but not without prior written notice... Are you perhaps able to quote this? It is with the supposedly "Green" bank... If I am wrong, so be it but, again, I don't see how...
 

Sinbad

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Jun 5, 2006
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I've read the T's & C's a couple more times an I find no such provision at all. It does say that they can cancel the credit facility but not without prior written notice... Are you perhaps able to quote this? It is with the supposedly "Green" bank... If I am wrong, so be it but, again, I don't see how...
How does it stipulate notices will be served?
By post, I bet. Are you sure they didn't send notice? It may be in a pile on the floor of a post office somewhere...
 

kinghemp

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Joined
Jan 17, 2011
Messages
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Contract would have a clause for immediate termination, and since you were late on payments for the overdraft it would have been flagged for that...

They didn't rob you, they weren't devious. You had shown to be an irregular payer and the minute your account had enough money they settled the overdraft.
Fair enough but I cannot, for the life of me, find this clause. I've read this contract a million times...:confused:
 

kinghemp

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Joined
Jan 17, 2011
Messages
15
How does it stipulate notices will be served?
By post, I bet. Are you sure they didn't send notice? It may be in a pile on the floor of a post office somewhere...
It says that it will be supplied by post and/or electronically(email). No post has arrived in this regard and no email either.
 
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