7 On Your Side: Queens widow's savings vanish

Friday, September 15, 2017 06:10PM
A Queens widow needed money to afford increased healthcare. When the money from her accounts went missing - she sent an S.O.S. out for 7 On Your Side.

FLUSHING, Queens - It's been a month of checking the mail, waiting and worrying for Fran Keller and her mom Susan Farrell.

The widow of the late United States Army Colonel Thomas F. Farrell, Jr. doesn't know what happened to two bank checks she was supposed to receive July 21st.

"After a week I said, 'Oh, the checks should've been here,'" Susan said.

The military family had closed out their long standing accounts with USAA, and were set to receive two checks with the balance from each account, one for nearly $37,000 the second check for 4,000.

When the checks never arrived, the mother and daughter, Fran Keller, frantically called the bank.

"It's a mystery," Keller said. "They said the checks were delivered to you on July 21st. I said we never received them."

USAA said the checks were delivered via FedEX. A FedEx receipt shows the envelope marked "delivered" right to the front door.

They reported the xhecks MIA and tried to get the bank to stop payment.

But Keller was shocked to learn USAA sent cashier's checks, good as cash, with no signature required.

Keller says a USAA representative told them they'd have to wait three months before the checks could be cancelled and reissued.

"It's a terrible thing to make someone wait so long," Susan said.
On a fixed income with bills to pay, Susan had been counting on that money.

"I have caregivers coming to the house. I needed that money desperately," Susan said.

7 On Your Side called the bank's headquarters, asking USAA to waive its 90-day waiting period. They got a very personal phone call from top brass at the bank and an apology.

"Within the matter of a day, the CEO of the company called me and said he will electronically put the money in my bank account immediately. Immediately. Can you imagine?" Susan said.

USAA said it gives members a choice to get paper check or wire transfers, this time it direct deposited, $40,910.

"I thought someone did a miracle and it was Channel 7," Susan said.
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