Charlie Williams may be in his 80s, but he’s quick to tell you everything’s clicking.
“I got a good mind,” he said. “I could tell you things you wouldn’t believe I know.”
One thing he says he knows – years ago he purchased three certificates of deposit for $46,290. He told NBC 6 Responds that money is now missing.
“It’s my money and I think I should have it,” he said.
Charlie first realized there was a problem when he and his oldest daughter, Roslyn, started going through his assets, he said.
“I was getting up in age,” he said. “I wanted her to see what was going on.”
They said they noticed several CDs weren’t listed on Charlie’s Wells Fargo account statement.
“I don’t know that he ever counted to see how many was there,” Roslyn said. “He just knew that there were certificates that were on the statements.”
The CDs were originally taken out with banks that eventually became Wells Fargo. Charlie showed NBC 6 receipts for two of the CDs – which were taken out in 2001 and 2005. He also said he had the original certificate of deposit for the oldest one, which he purchased in 1994 for $15,000.
“He was under the impression [that] in order to get access to those monies, he would have to cash in the originals,” said Roslyn. “But they told us that was no longer the case, that you could get access to the CDs without presenting the original certificates to them.”
Roslyn filed a complaint with the consumer financial protection bureau and Wells Fargo responded to her and her father in a series of letters, explaining that they keep records for 7 years – 2 years longer than required. They also said in a letter that, “Given the age of information provided and the lack of subsequent record, we do not feel Wells Fargo is still in possession of these funds.”
“They can’t give us any records of proof that he took the money,” Roslyn said, adding that Wells Fargo eventually told her father he must have cashed the CDs and simply forgot.
“I was quite insulted that they would even say that to him,” she said.
Wells Fargo told NBC 6 Responds they “have met with the customer and discussed the situation” and said they’re “unable to divulge the details due to customer confidentiality”. But in a statement, they explained that “Generally speaking, at the discretion of the financial institution issuing the CD, the CD may be redeemed without providing the actual paper certificate if the proper forms of identification and ownership are presented and authenticated. As a result, simply having the paper certificate is not sufficient evidence that a CD has not already been redeemed.”
Charlie, meanwhile, is trying not to stress too much about it.
“Years ago I learned you just can’t dwell on things you can’t do nothing about,” he said. “I just hope we can work it out.”
Roslyn said she is thinking of hiring a lawyer and finds hope in a case out of Arizona where a woman sued a bank after they wouldn’t honor an original certificate of deposit, saying that because they had no record of it, the certificate must have been previously paid. The case was eventually settled.