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Charges for unfreezing a bank account

Charges for unfreezing a bank account

Postby DS100 » Thu Oct 25, 2018 11:12 am

Hi All, I just wanted to let you know what happened to a friend of mine whose wife passed away earlier this year. My friend did everything by the book and took the death certificate to the bank as it is a shared account. He has a will in place so no issues there. Anyway Sabadell bank froze his money and in order for them to unfreeze it they are charging him 1200 euros for the privilege.

I just really want to pass on my friends experience as he now says he wishes he had withdrawn all the money before producing the death certificate but as they say hindsight is a wonderful thing.
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Re: Charges for unfreezing a bank account

Postby marcliff » Thu Oct 25, 2018 11:25 am

They freeze accounts in this instance because the bank will be liable to pay any taxes (inheritance etc) if they continue to operate the account and there is subsequently not enough money to pay. It is an unfortunate thing here as, unlike UK, they won't allow any payments to be made until probate and proof of taxes have been cleared.
For this reason, it is best for us to withdraw money before informing the bank (ours allows 2 x 500 euro withdrawals a day).

However, I have never heard of a bank charging to "unfreeze" and account. I know of one lady whose husband sadly passed away and they froze her account but reinstated it, at no charge, once the solicitors had dealt with the details. (I think that was Santander from memory).
I also know of several non-residents who have had their accounts frozen for not providing requested ID or proof of income details but no charges were made to reinstate the account once they had done so and one of those was definitely with Sabadell.

Something else to bear in mind in unfortunate circumstances but I would query this huge charge being made and check with the solicitor doing probate to see if they are justified.
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Re: Charges for unfreezing a bank account

Postby Curious » Thu Oct 25, 2018 9:42 pm

I’m very concerned as I will be going through the same situation shortly. When it’s a joint account I would have expected the account to stay open. If the account is frozen the direct debits won’t be paid. If they aren’t paid the utilities will be cut off. Does anyone have any advice please.
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Re: Charges for unfreezing a bank account

Postby Janjan » Thu Oct 25, 2018 10:12 pm

When we knew my Husband wouldn't live much longer I was able to give the Bank a letter signed by him to enable me to have a new Account in my name and all the Direct Debits were transferred. This was with BBVA.
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Re: Charges for unfreezing a bank account

Postby Flamencox » Fri Oct 26, 2018 8:11 am

I have posted on this site before about frozen bank account, when I lost my husband. It was Bankinter, what distress they caused at a time when you least need it, and trying to manage it from the UK


they are only supposed to freeze half the account. HOwever, I received red letters and threats of being cut off, and the bank was not interested, it took months to unfreeze, eventually closed the account.Best thing in my opinion is open another bank account I suggest Bankia as there are no charges, take out half the money so at least the bills will be paid.
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Re: Charges for unfreezing a bank account

Postby Kenbo » Fri Oct 26, 2018 8:40 am

I have been in this unfortunate situation too, my bank at the time was caja murcia, now Bankia, they froze my wife's half of the account and I continued to pay the bills from my half, when all the paperwork was complete they changed the account to my name only, they didn't charge for this and I would definitely query a charge of 1200e.
PS, I had a brilliant solicitor who did this for me along with the inheritance tax and land registry etc.
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Re: Charges for unfreezing a bank account

Postby Curious » Fri Oct 26, 2018 9:46 am

My situation is that my husband passed away unexpectedly. We have a joint account but the bills are in his name. So not only will I have to have utilities and Suma changed to my name (will I be jumping through hoops to do this??) if the bank account is frozen how long will probate take as everything will be cut off for non payment. It’s distressing enough without difficulties created at every move. I will be seeing a solicitor shortly who was recommended by several peopleon this forum - thank you all for that! I didn’t want to open a new bank account but maybe I should?. Any suggestions would be appreciated. Thank you.
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Re: Charges for unfreezing a bank account

Postby Janjan » Fri Oct 26, 2018 12:29 pm

I don't know if all Banks are the same but correspondence from our Bank BBVA were only ever addressed to my husband although we had a joint account. That's why I was advised to open a new account as they didn't just cross out the name of the deseased. All the names on the Bills had to be changed as well. Some were easier than others. I didn't rush as I knew Directs Debits were being paid. You'll feel better once you've seen the Solcitor. All the Paperwork you get with the Inheritance is unbelievable. it all seems long winded but Hey this is Spain.
The UK side was a piece of cake.
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