7 On Your Side: $66,000 in life savings frozen by bank for over half a year

NEW JERSEY (WABC) -- It was a disastrous deep freeze that lasted more than half a year -- a New Jersey health care worker's bank account was inexplicably frozen.

All the money she had in the world was suddenly out of her grasp, and she was near the breaking point until a friend gave what she calls the best advice: to call Nina Pineda and get 7 On Your Side involved.

"I felt like trash, and then the people were looking at me like, 'Oh, you did something wrong,'" CitiBank account holder Carol Simpson said.

Simpson's tears hint at her 7-month ordeal, after her entire savings -- worth $66,275 -- was frozen by CitiBank last December.

"I had to beg for my money every month," she said. "And I did beg for my money."

It was a surreal situation for the mother. She and her family proudly served in the U.S. Military.

"My grandfather, his father was in the Army," she said.

Simpson spent 30 years at the VA as a dental assistant, until an accident on the job ended her career. But just days after her worker's compensation check was deposited, her account was locked.

Simpson said the Citibank branch manager made her show everything, including her Social Security card, passport, driver's license, and even her birth certificate. But still, they wouldn't unfreeze her money.

Then she suffered another blow, after a car accident landed her in the hospital.

"My friends," Simpson said. "They gave me money, helped me provide for my house."

But the most valuable gift was some advice from a friend.

"One of my friends came over and said, 'Carol, you're not like that. I know you're a fighter. Why won't you fight? Call 7 On Your Side,'" Simpson said.

So we got in touch with CitiBank, and within a few days, Simpson got a big surprise, a five-figure check delivered.

"These are happy tears," Simpson said.

CitiBank said it may temporarily freeze an account to investigate unusual activity and to safeguard clients' accounts, and they apologized.

"I had a lot of angels on my side helping me," Simpson said.

She used the money to pay back all those who loaned her money.

"7 On My Side, keep on everybody's side," she said. "Thank you very much. I appreciate everything you did," Simpson said.

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