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I've run into an unpleasant situation: https://money.stackexchange.com/questions/75965/mom-keeps-illegally-monitoring-my-bank-account-what-to-do. I was advised to move this question to legal. Could anyone please advise me on my legal options in this case, and how I can gather evidence to prove the transgressions and legally punish them?

tl;dr:

An employee at a large national bank chain has been accessing and giving out confidential information about my bank account to my mother, with whom he/she is friends. I reported this unauthorized access to the bank's manager directly, who said that he would put an alert on my account to make sure that it does not happen again and that he would get back to me after an internal investigation was carried out. However, he never got back to me and never returned any of my calls again. A few months later, I opened a new bank account at another bank and transferred most of my funds to it. My mother then asked me shortly thereafter why I withdrew most of my money from my original bank account. Hence, the problem was not solved -- my bank account information is still being accessed without my permission and my privacy is being violated. Since I already reported this info to the bank's manager, I do not know what else to do to pursue any legal action towards the rogue employee who has been accessing (and releasing information) about my bank account to my mother. I want to know if I can pursue any legal options against the bank, my mother, or both. I do not want to close my original bank account because this would constitute a major inconvenience (since my wife, kids, and I bank there). I know with 100% certainty that it is coming from an employee friend at the bank, because my mom told me about it directly.

  • Hence, the problem was not solved. From what I read your mom got news that you closed your account in your old bank, but none of what you write makes me think that she is getting information from your new one. Are you sure that you still have the problem? – SJuan76 Feb 10 '17 at 22:38
  • Yes, because I haven't closed the original bank account and the situation has obviously not been addressed. – warship Feb 10 '17 at 22:47
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As a general rule, if a business, like a bank, is legally required to keep information confidential, and an employee breeches confidentiality, then your recourse is to sue the business for damages. See for example ch. 35 of Title 12. The bank cannot claim "It's not our fault, an employee did it" (the Latin for this is "respondeat superior", whereby a part is also responsible for the acts of their agents). As far as I know, there is no law against asking for information that can't be given. This does assume, however, that your mother does not have a legal right to the information (which could arise from some form of co-signing). Also, would assume that they have a normal privacy policy, and not one where they say "We will tell your mother if she asks" (they would have informed you of that, so read the privacy policy). This is a question best answered by your own attorney, to whom you would reveal all of the details.

  • That's correct, my mother does not have legal rights to the information (no co-signing of any sort). – warship Feb 10 '17 at 22:48
  • Not an answer, but I'd definitely close your account once again, go to a credit union or online bank she doesn't know about, and use that. If the new financial institution gives your information out, sue them. What capacity you can sue them for probably depends on your actual damages and/or any statutory damages your state might provide. – mark b Feb 10 '17 at 22:53
  • I would like to pursue any and all course of action available to me. That being said, would anyone suggest if it is worthwhile to sue a national bank chain on potential damages? E.g., if she removes me from her will because of things she found out in my bank information? She has already removed me from joint CDs (hundreds of thousands of dollars). I just don't want to take it to court if I will end up penniless because the bank has all the money in the world and I have limited funds to supply a lawyer and limited actual damages at this point, although potential damages COULD be much higher. – warship Feb 10 '17 at 22:59
  • @K-C Could you please instead enlighten me on what the process would entail? Am I looking at a 10-year lawsuit against a national bank chain, or something like that? – warship Feb 10 '17 at 23:08
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    It's basically against the law for us to give legal advice, though we can provide general information about the nature of the law. KC can correct me (IANAL) but I think it would be professionally unacceptable to opine as to the "10 year process" question, without having an attorney-client relation. So really, find an attorney, get the free 15 minute chat. – user6726 Feb 10 '17 at 23:15

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