Monday, March 23, 2009

Citibank Charges Dead People Late Fees

We all have read about the world banking crisis ... and how bankers have been getting billions / trillions in bail out money.

But apparently getting our tax dollars is not good enough for them ... now they are trying to raise money from dead people by charging them late fees.

Enclosed is a transcript I recently received, which confirms what I've known for a long time -- you have to be careful when you give your money to bankers.

I don't know if this conversation really happened or not -- but I'm inclined to believe that it did.

A lady died this past January. Citibank billed her for February and March for their annual service charges on her credit card, and added late fees and interest on the monthly charge. The balance had been $0.00 when she died but now somewhere around $60.00. A family member placed a call to Citibank.

Here is the exchange:

Family Member: 'I am calling to tell you she died back in January.'

Citibank: 'The account was never closed and the late fees and charges still apply.'

Family Member: 'Maybe, you should turn it over to collections.'

Citibank: 'Since it is two months past due, it already has been.

Family Member: So, what will they do when they find out she is dead?'

Citibank: 'Either report her account to frauds division or report her to the credit bureau, maybe both!'

Family Member: 'Do you think God will be mad at her?'

Citibank: 'Excuse me?'

Family Member: 'Did you just get what I was telling you - the part about her being dead?'

Citibank: 'Sir, you'll have to speak to my supervisor'

Supervisor gets on the phone:

Family Member: 'I'm calling to tell you, she died back in January with a $0 balance.'

Citibank: 'The account was never closed and late fees and charges still apply.'

Family Member: 'You mean you want to collect from her estate?'

Citibank: (Stammer) 'Are you her lawyer?'

Family Member: 'No, I'm her great nephew.' (Lawyer info was given)

Citibank: 'Could you fax us a certificate of death?'

Family Member: 'Sure.' (Fax number was given )

After they get the fax :

Citibank: 'Our system just isn't setup for death. I don't know what more I can do to help.'

Family Member: 'Well, if you figure it out, great! If not, you could just keep billing her. She won't care.'

Citibank: 'Well, the late fees and charges will still apply

(What is wrong with these people?!?)

Family Member: 'Would you like her new billing address?'

Citibank: 'That might help...'

Family Member: ' Odessa Memorial Cemetery, Highway 129, Plot Number 69.'

Citibank: 'Sir, that's a cemetery!'

Family Member: 'And what do you do with dead people on your planet???

(Priceless!!) You wondered why Citi Bank is going broke and need the feds to bail them out!!


  1. It reminds me of what happened to a friend of mine in Russia in the 1990s. A certain government office believed she was dead. She went to the office in person, to tell them she's not dead. The bureaucrat demanded a doctor's report as proof. She went to her doctor and he gave her a letter saying "In my professional medical opinion, this woman is NOT DEAD", and then the bureaucrat was satisfied.

  2. Isabel,

    Both your post and John Ball's comment cracks me up!


  3. Oops! I should have said both "crack me up." (I hope none of your English for Italian students get to read my English grammatical error!).

  4. Jeanne,

    It's refreshing to see an American actually caring about correct grammar these days. Although "crack me up" is technically the more correct form to indicate that Isabel's story and mine are plural, it's nonetheless correct to say "cracks" insofar as your reaction was to a single blog post and its related comments constituting a singular whole.

    What does drive me mad is the current pandemic of bad punctuation. A good and funny book about that is, "Eats, Shoots and Leaves" by Lynn Truss. The title refers to an example of bad punctuation: "The Panda eats, shoots and leaves", which literally means the panda eats, then shoots a gun and then leaves the room.


Isabel Van Fechtmann

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