Woman's bank account frozen with no explanation, timeline

NEW YORK (WABC) -- Imagine all your money sitting safely in the bank, but then, suddenly, every penny is frozen for weeks -- and the bank won't give you any timeline or explanation.

It happened to one woman from our area who had to borrow and even sell a car just to survive, until she turned to Nina Pineda and 7 On Your Side to thaw her account in the deep freeze.

"It just really was horrible," said the working mother of four, who didn't want her name used. "I cannot even describe to you. It was unimaginable."

For more than two months, she could not pay her bills. She's far from broke, but she was helpless with her account frozen.

"To not be able to make a small purchase in a store, it's embarrassing, very uncomfortable and shocking, and I couldn't understand why," she said.

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Her debit card, linked to her life savings, stopped working in February.

"They gave me no information," she said. "Even when they sent me a letter to say that they were closing my account."

Both her checking and her savings were locked, and when she went to Chase to try to sort it out, she didn't get anywhere.

"The bank said, 'We can't touch this,'" she said.

She said she was told her account was closed because of suspicious activity, with the bank having discretion not to provide a reason or give an end date.

"I have adult children, and they covered me," she said. "So that's how I made it. I couldn't buy a sandwich without my children."

The family was moving during all of this, and without access to any funds, the woman was drowning in debt. After being forced to sell her car, she sent an SOS to 7 On Your Side.

We got in touch with Chase, and within with a week and a half, she got a big check sent via FedEx with all her deposited funds.

"Y'all really did fight for me," she said. "Thank you so much. This definitely would not have been possible without you."

A Chase rep said the bank was happy to find a resolution for their customer.

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Some big takeaways: We've noticed that sometimes accounts are frozen after an unusually large deposit is made. So when you make the transaction, speak to a bank representative and make sure it's not flagged as suspicious.

But if your account is frozen, immediate submit a dispute by phone or in person and take note of who you spoke and what was said.

Then, email the bank and submit a written request to unfreeze your account.

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