Okay so bit of information, I work for a bank call center. Occasionally I will get calls where someone has a garnishment on their account. Basically, they lost some type of court case where the plaintiff is owed funds, or in this case, overdue taxes. We are served with papers, that make us hold the funds on an account.
Here is today’s great adventure.
Guy calls in because there is a hold on his checking account for $220.00. Which is the exact amount he has in his account. There is an account note saying that there was a legal levy/garnishment, with a number to call and whom the garnishment was from.
So I tell him. He says he doesn’t owe the Tax Board. I say “Well it could also be your co-owner, [name]. Allow me a moment to call legal and I’ll find out for you.”
Turns out it is his co-owner.
I come back and tell him “It’s for [co-owner.] So you need to have her call the tax board. Do you want the number?”
…I give him the number….
Him “Is there a reference number?”
Me “No, they don’t give us that information. Just have her call them and they will be able to find her, probably with her social. They will let her know everything.”
H “I don’t think this is real I think it’s fraud!”
M “No Sir, this is real. The bank was served with a legal court order, signed off by a judge to put a garnishment on this account.”
H “No! There is no way, I never gave them my account number they wouldn’t know it.”
M “Sir, they are the government, they have a way to find where you bank. That is what they have done.”
H “Yea but they took the exact amount in my account! How would they know what’s in it?!”
(She had to have owed more, and we just gave them all of what’s in the account. I didn’t ask legal how much she owed, because we can’t tell him what the court order says because it’s against her. Even though he’s on the account and all of this is public record, but my company is awesome.)
M “We had to give them all that was in the account. She probably owes more. Just have her call the number and they will tell her everything.”
H “The IRS doesn’t do phone calls! This number is fake!”
M “No. It’s not fake. This is also the local tax board, not the IRS. You can call them. Google it, it will bring you right to CA.gov.”
H “I’m going to call it right now! Hold on let me call it!” ….waiting….
H “Yea! This is fake! It says recovery service!”
M “Sir. I promise you it is real. It is a legal order from the government. Within 10 business days there will be a letter from the bank explaining what is happening with all the details.”
H “Can’t you just give me my money back?! It’s a mistake!”
M “No Sir, we would be breaking the law if we went against a court order.”
H “But I don’t owe them anything.”
M “Well again, it is for [co-owner] not you.”
H “We file together. She couldn’t owe anything if I don’t.”
M “Okay, well have her call. She can get all the information and if it’s a mistake they will refund your money.”
H “You are absolutely no help.” hangs up 😒 …sorry, next time I’ll break the law for you.
I get most frustrated because I get surveys on these calls and I am supposed to be at 90% satisfaction and this asshat is going to score me poorly, bringing down my metrics.
This is also the abridged version. He said the number was fake about four times, asked me for a reference number at least three times, told me at least ten times they don’t owe anything and that it was “fraud” more times than I can estimate.
I know that getting something like this on your account can be a big shock, and stuff happens and people fall behind. I have no judgement on that. I get that it’s confusing, infuriating and scary.
I was at my wits end though, I had to have instructed him to have his co-owner call at least 20x “again, we don’t have that information she would have to call them.” “I understand, just have her call them. They can look into it.”