They did not follow the EIPA and the U.S. Department of the Treasury guidelines.
n September 10 at 4 am PST my account was not frozen but by the time I went to the store at 9:40 am PST I could not pay for my items at Safeway. I called HSBC and they froze my account which was used for unemployment deposits from Washington state. I called the toll free number 800-975-4722 3 times and every time you will get a different person to help you.
The first time I called, the person said there was a garnishment on my account and it had been frozen. I asked her to look into it because they can not freeze my unemployment income. I was put on hold and she checked with the law department and they told her that “unemployment was not exempt in the state of New York.” I knew that the law department was not telling her something right because I already looked into garnishments for unemployment and they are exempt. She also told me to contact the creditor and get an exemption form filled out for the state of Washington since it is exempt here. That is what HSBC law department said for her to tell me. I contacted the creditors and faxed them the appropriate forms within the hour. They told me to contact HSBC again because they had faxed them the paperwork to take the garnishment off and the creditors even said that something was not right with the way they garnished my account.
I went home and I called a second time to see if they had received the paperwork from the creditors and I was disconnected while on hold.
I looked at my account on-line and I now have a balance of negative over $3,000 in my checking and negative over $3,000 in my savings account. They took my money from unemployment in my checking account and charged me an extra $88 and they took $11 from my savings account and charged me an extra $88 there too. I called the toll free number again at approximately 11:45 am PST and another different person answered and I explained to her what had happened and she put me on hold to check and see if the law department received the fax. She came back on the line and said that my account shows that they did received the fax but it would take from 24 to 48 hours before my account was released. I also asked her why my account was in the negative more than the actual garnishment was for and she said that she could not tell me why it was more but they garnished me for over $3,000 when the actual garnishment was for less than $3,000, according to my paperwork and the creditors. I asked for the law departments number and she could not give it to me. I ended my call and waited for transaction to go through.
It is now September 11 at 9:10 am PST my accounts are still at the same negative balances. In the future HSBC should research an account before putting a freeze on it and have their law department educated on garnishment laws.
I checked my account again and it is still at a negative balance in both accounts but they have charged me a $100 "legal paper fee". I need to have something done. Are they going to take my social security away from me when it drops in next month too? This is just not right. I would like all the money taken from my account to be refunded since it is not my fault they don't follow the laws.
09/12 I have been on the phone since 7:35 am with customer service, then the law department. Spoke with Mary in customer service who transferred me to Suhas in the law department and he said that they did not receive the exemption form and could not take the hold off my account. He said that I needed to contact the creditor and have them re-fax the paperwork again. I called the creditor and they said that everything has been sent and HSBC needs to call them and they will verify it. I called back HSBC and spoke with Suhas again and he said that they are not allowed to call the creditor and that I needed to get the creditor to re-fax the paperwork back with the confirmation of the original fax. He also said that they get at least 100 faxes per hour and that it could just have been missed. I called the creditors and they said that it was sent in the mail and it was faxed over to HSBC on 09/10. I wonder how many other customers they are doing this too?